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Re: CHAT: Measurements (was: Re: CHAT: browsers)

From:Muke Tever <mktvr@...>
Date:Sunday, February 16, 2003, 12:59
From: "Joe" <joe@...>
> > To be perfectly clear; I am and was conscious of use of "myriad" as "very > > large number". I jokingly suggested that we CONLANG list members should try > > and replace this usuage with "myriad"="ten thousand". > > Is it true that the original greek word meant >=10,000? I heard that > somewhere...
Well, according to _New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin_: << G mu:/rioi '10,000'; mu:ria/s, -a/dos 'a number of 10,000'; combining forms mu:ri- and mu:rio/-. These also have the meaning of any immense number, and that is probably the original sense. The stem-forms are obviously based on the morphology of actual numbers, but that does not prove that they were numbers to begin with (NB NE _umpteen_ 'a medium-sized number', _jillion_ 'a huge number'). Various other IE languages have specific words for '10,000', with little agreement among them. The closest match in form and function is between the G forms and a poetic OIr form, _múr_ 'great number, multitude'. >> *Muke! --