Wednesday, September 4, 2013

More on base twelve terminology.

(Nota bene: I still need money.  Dentistry is expensive.)

Ok, so we've got the digits pretty well defined:

1 One
2 Two
3 Three
4 Four
5 Five
6 Six
7 Seven
8 Eight
9 Nine
Ѧ Ten
ϟ Eleven (silmasan suggests "eve" for those who find "eleven" too long)

Then we get into the the double digits.  Following base ten protocol says it should be "something [single digit]"

10 Can be, in general, "base" but for base twelve I think "twelve" makes sense.  But, again credit to silmasan because this was not in the front of my mind at all even though I know it well, it can also be called a dozen.  What I like about Dozen is silmasan's suggestion it can be shortened to the suffix -zen for double digit numbers.  I don't really like "dozen" for 10 because dozen takes an article (a dozen, the dozen) where twelve does not.  It could be onezen but I prefer "tweleve.

10 Twelve
20 Twozen
30 Threezen
40 Fourzen
50 Fivezen
60 Sixzen
70 Sevenzen
80 Eightzen
90 Ninezen
Ѧ0 Tenzwen
ϟ0 Elevenzen / Evezen

Now then, three digit numbers have a very nice thing in base ten.  You just have a word for basesquared (hundred) and stick a number with it (one hundred, two hundred, three hundred...)  Twelve squared is a gross, thus:

100 One Gross
200 Two Gross
300 Three Gross
400 Four Gross
500 Five Gross
600 Six Gross
700 Seven Gross
800 Eight Gross
900 Nine Gross
Ѧ00 Ten Gross
ϟ00 Eleven / Eve Gross

Now that can get us up to ϟϟϟ = 1727 base ten.

Still following in the base ten model what we would want is a new word (thousand in base ten).  Something for 12 to the third.  Great gross, grand gross, long gross, and mass are all attested on wikipedia without citation.  If that hive of scum and villainy can be trusted then Mass works great:

1,000 One Mass
2,000 Two Mass
3,000 Three Mass
4,000 Four Mass
5,000 Five Mass
6,000 Six Mass
7,000 Seven Mass
8,000 Eight Mass
9,000 Nine Mass
Ѧ,000 Ten Mass
ϟ,000 Eleven/Eve Mass

If it doesn't, on the other hand, we need a new word.  Cuve? That would be Cu(bed Twel)ve.  For the moment we'll assume the hive of scum and villainy is right.

This is where we start to take off.

We need one more word and then latin prefixes will get us to, I shit you not, 10303 in short scale 10600 and in long.  Giant numbers.

Now the word we're looking for is twelve to the sixth (if Mass turns out to be bullshit Sive?) So, say, Massqu (pronounced more or less "mask") for "mass squared".

1,000,000 One Massqu
2,000,000 Two Massqu
3,000,000 Three Massqu
4,000,000 Four Massqu
5,000,000 Five Massqu
6,000,000 Six Massqu
7,000,000 Seven Massqu
8,000,000 Eight Massqu
9,000,000 Nine Massqu
Ѧ,000,000 Ten Massqu
ϟ,000,000 Eleven/Eve Massqu

And here's where it gets simple.  That's our millionish number, to add another three zeros just stick bi, tri, and so forth on.  We don't even have to remove any letters because it still looks ok:

1,000,000,000 bimassqu
1,000,000,000,000 trimassqu
1,000,000,000,000,000 quadrimassqu
1,000,000,000,000,000,000 quintimassqu

And so on.  That's short scale which is, as far as I'm concerned standard, but if you need really big numbers you can go long scale.  Or even invent super long scale.

I have to go, I have to have already gone almost 20 minutes ago.  This is not proofread.


  1. Why are you using "qu" instead of just "q?"

    1. Actually to expand on that, it has been drilled into me that, except in names of nations or foreign words (including, notably, proper nouns), q must always be followed by a u.

      But given that sq is the abbreviation it would make sense to drop the u.

  2. Maybe I should put this in your first base twelve post, but are you at all familiar with the Schoolhouse Rock episode "Little Twelve Toes" which uses the Greek letters "χ" and "ε" for ten and eleven, respectively? It also uses the terms "dek," "el," and "doh" for "ten," "eleven" and "twelve" respectively. I'm fairly certain that my seventh or eighth grade math text book used the same notation, but it's been long enough that a)I'm not sure of that, and b) I don't remember the title of the text to try to find it, assuming it's available used. Since that was over thirty years ago, the book is no doubt years out of print.

    I will note that the Wikipedia article on base 12 actually lists two or three different notations for ten and eleven in base 12. I think it would make sense to use one of the existing notations instead of inventing a new one.

    1. Thanks for the response.

      I am aware of various existing terminologies, but since none have really caught on (at least no more than the tau over pi movement has caught on) there's really no reason not to make one's own and this was in large part in response to silmasan's comment which was not about what already exists but what could be created.