Straight Dope Message Board (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/index.php)
-   Cafe Society (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?f=13)
-   -   Fahrenheit four-five-one or four fifty one? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=468247)

 amarone 05-15-2008 10:44 PM

Fahrenheit four-five-one or four fifty one?

I had always called Bradbury's book Fahrenheit four-five-one. I was born and raised in England, if that matters. My son, at high school in the US, has been taught Fahrenheit four fifty one. Which do you say? Is there a geographical difference.?

Google searches show 643 occurrences of four fifty one and 624 of four-five-one, so probably a statistical tie.

According to this interview, Bradbury himself called it four fifty one, but later changed to four five one.

 Darryl Lict 05-15-2008 10:53 PM

Four fifty one.

 Eonwe 05-15-2008 10:57 PM

four five one is an area code. four fifty one is a numerical value.

 pulykamell 05-15-2008 11:04 PM

Four fifty-one here. Never heard it any other way.

 Ducktail 05-15-2008 11:13 PM

I've only ever heard four-five-one. That's definitely how we were saying it when I read it for class sophomore year of high school.

 Siam Sam 05-15-2008 11:17 PM

Quote:
 Originally Posted by pulykamell Four fifty-one here. Never heard it any other way.
Ditto.

 Leaper 05-15-2008 11:25 PM

Since the title refers to a temperature, and thus a specific numerical value, why not four fifty-one? The only reason I usually see to pronounce numbers as each individual digit is if it's a serial number or something like that.

 Siam Sam 05-15-2008 11:28 PM

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Leaper Since the title refers to a temperature, and thus a specific numerical value, why not four fifty-one? The only reason I usually see to pronounce numbers as each individual digit is if it's a serial number or something like that.
Although I've never heard it referred to as such, why wouldn't it be "Fahrenheit Four Hundred Fifty-One"?

 silenus 05-15-2008 11:30 PM

I learned the pronunciation from Bradbury himself, 35 or so years ago.

Four Fifty One.

Anything else is revisionism, even from Ray. :D

 Bambi Hassenpfeffer 05-15-2008 11:39 PM

Doesn't the opening narration in the movie use "Fahrenheit Four Five One"? I would swear to it, but surprisingly enough, YouTube doesn't have a video of the opening titles.

 Leaper 05-16-2008 12:42 AM

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Siam Sam Although I've never heard it referred to as such, why wouldn't it be "Fahrenheit Four Hundred Fifty-One"?
I've wondered that myself.

 TWDuke 05-16-2008 02:34 AM

Another vote for "Fahrenheit four fifty-one."

If somebody asks me my weight, I'm more likely to say "one seventy-five" than "one hundred seventy-five," but I certainly wouldn't say "one seven five."

 cactus waltz 05-16-2008 02:52 AM

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Siam Sam Although I've never heard it referred to as such, why wouldn't it be "Fahrenheit Four Hundred Fifty-One"?
Why, that's what I call it.

 MrDibble 05-16-2008 04:46 AM

I've always said "four hundred and fifty one", because leaving out the "and" would make me sound American, and a get enough flack for the "Math" habit I've picked up.

 singular1 05-16-2008 06:00 AM

Another four fifty-one here - born and raised in NW PA, 12 years in VA, 2 years in Maine, 2 years in San Diego, 10 years in New Orleans/MS and 7 years in Seattle, and I've never heard it called four five one before this thread.

 Harmonious Discord 05-16-2008 06:14 AM

Fahrenheit four hundred fifty one is how I always said it. I'll try to remember Fahrenheit four fifty one is the way it was meant to be.

 amarone 05-16-2008 06:14 AM

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Siam Sam Although I've never heard it referred to as such, why wouldn't it be "Fahrenheit Four Hundred Fifty-One"?
I have never heard it pronounced that way either, but surprisingly Google gives 649 references, which edges it slightly ahead of the other two. "Fahrenheit four hundred and fifty one" gets only 22.

 Meurglys 05-16-2008 06:15 AM

In the UK, I've only ever heard it as 'four five one'. In fact, until I read the OP, I had never heard it any other way...

 RealityChuck 05-16-2008 07:26 AM

I've only heard is as four five one. That was how it was pronounced in the movie.

 Quartz 05-16-2008 07:41 AM

Four five one here. Four fifty-one seems to make no sense: it would be four hundred and fifty one.

I think this is standard this side of the Atlantic: 22 Squadron is not twenty-two but two two, and 633 Squadron was six three three, not six thirty-three.

 Bayard 05-16-2008 08:09 AM

Another "four fifty one" man here.

Same thing for Boeing airplanes. "seven forty seven" not "seven four seven".

 amarone 05-16-2008 08:11 AM

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Bayard Same thing for Boeing airplanes. "seven forty seven" not "seven four seven".
Hijack: I don't recall ever hearing seven forty seven. It's seven four seven to me. But it's an MD eighty eight.

 kunilou 05-16-2008 09:16 AM

It's a temperature. When you read your thermometer or set your thermostat, how do you describe it? That's how you're going to say the book's title.

 TWDuke 05-16-2008 09:24 AM

Well, no. If my thermometer reached 451 degrees, I probably wouldn't be describing it at all.

If I were telling somebody a setting for, say, an oven, I would most likely say to set it at "four fifty one," or set it at "four hundred and fifty one degrees Fahrenheit." I would never use the format "Fahrenheit [followed by number]" in speech or print except in a quotation or reference to the title of a work.

 Galwegian 05-16-2008 09:49 AM

Four five one.

It's a "Boeing seven four seven" to me as well.

I wonder if Quartz is right, and it's different on either side of the pond?

 pulykamell 05-16-2008 09:59 AM

Quote:
 Originally Posted by amarone Hijack: I don't recall ever hearing seven forty seven. It's seven four seven to me. But it's an MD eighty eight.
While I've heard "seven four seven," I'm slightly more familiar with "seven forty seven" and that's the wording I use for 747.

 Skywatcher 05-16-2008 10:17 AM

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Bambi Hassenpfeffer Doesn't the opening narration in the movie use "Fahrenheit Four Five One"? I would swear to it, but surprisingly enough, YouTube doesn't have a video of the opening titles.

 Bambi Hassenpfeffer 05-16-2008 10:25 AM

The caption for that video says "A Cinematic trailer I made for english class," so it can hardly be considered authoritative.

 Skywatcher 05-16-2008 10:38 AM

It does use clips from the movie, though. Here's the real trailer, courtesy TCM.

 Thudlow Boink 05-16-2008 11:18 AM

According to the Utopia song "Fahrenheit 451" it's pronounced "four fifty-one."

 All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:59 AM.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com