Subscribe to ...considered harmful

## How do you pronounce xBB?

I was recently reminded of this, which I originally posted in the xkcd fora some months ago, but I figured some DIC folks might enjoy it as well:

Binary, hex, and so forth are written (or coded, or otherwise nonverbal) systems for representing numeric values. Typically, if you need to express a numeric value verbally, you use decimal. If you need to read off a hex string literally, you read the characters in sequence. So x0F is pronounced "fifteen", or "hex zero F" depending on what it is you need to communicate. What is lacking is a pleasing verbal code for hex numbers, as hex numbers, without the intermediate translation to decimal.

The lack of a good spoken language for hex notation troubles me, so I thought I might as well suggest at least the start of a solution. If you wanted to communicate hex sequences verbally, as hex numbers, you would need names for the multiples and the powers of sixteen, at the very least. For the multiples, then, I suggest:

x11 : "hexty-one"
x22: "twexty-two"
x33: "threxty-three"
x44: "fourxty-four"
x55: "fixty-five"
x66: "sexty-six"
x77: "heptexty-seven"
x88: "oxty-eight"
x99: "novexty-nine"
xAA: "dexty-ten"
xBB: "elexty-eleven"
xCC: "dodexty-twelve"
xEE: "eeksty-fourteen" (or "catorxty-fourteen")
xFF: "effexty-fifteen" (or "fiftexty-fifteen")

There may be some better candidates available. I'd love to have suggestions.

I'll let someone else do the powers. As long as there's a hexoogol in there, I'm happy.

(I originally posted this to the xkcd fora and lost the reference. I repost it here, so I'll know where to find it)

### 0 Comments On This Entry

There are no Trackbacks for this entry

S M T W T F S
1 2 34567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031