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Subject: Re: Singlular of "mouses" Was: Re: Negative ordinality

From:Caleb Hines <cph9fa@...>
Date:Thursday, December 18, 2003, 6:04
> Garth Wallace wrote at 2003-12-17 15:53:48 (-0800) > > Peter Bleackley wrote: > > > > > > By analogy with "oxen". Particularly applies to VAX machines, or > > > VAXen. > > > > Also "unixen", meaning multiple varieties of UNIX. From the Jargon > > File's entry on overgeneralization in geekspeak > > <>: > [snip Jargon] > > > > But as that passage points out, "unixen" is rare; the normal form is > "unices".
My favorite computer-related plural is UNIX -> UNIcies! (Just like index -> indicies). I've never heard "Unixen" AFAIK. And I'll admit I've never heard "boxen", but then I'm to young to have ever worked with VAXen. Regarding ordinals, I tend to make things even more confusing by using _both_ 'first' and 'zeroeth' to refer to a[0]. I _think_ it depends on context. If I use the term 'array' I'm talking about the computer's representation of the data, and will use 'zeroeth', but if I'm talking about it like a 'list' of physical items, I may use the term 'first'. In fact, I might even get sloppy and say something really confusing like: "The first integer in the list is the zeroeth element of the array." without so much as flinching. Another (related) use of "zeroeth" which I haven't heard mentioned yet is in summations. Usually you take a sum with i=1 to n, but often it is convenient to start at 0, in which case you have to start adding at the "zeroeth term." In a few rare cases, I've even seen summations that begin at -1, with the obvious result of starting with the "minus oneth" term. Thanks, ~Caleb


Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>