# Quick Math/Language Question

There are terms for several different base number systems in English:

Base 2 is “binary.”

Base 8 is “octal.”

Base 10 is “decimal.”

Base 60 is “sexigesimal.”

My main question: is there a word for Base 36? I’m guessing that if it has to be coined, it should come from Latin roots (as the others do), but does it need to be coined, or has it been already…and if so, what is it?

My guess is trigintaseximal, but I’m not enough of a linguist to be sure if I’m right.

Second (less important) question: is there a list of these terms (rather like the terms for collections of different animals: “Herd of cows, pack of wolves, murder of crows”)? In other words, if someone is attempting to write a fantasy novel or design an RPG, and they have (for creativity’s sake) come up with a Base 173 number system, is there a place that they can find a word for that, or are most of these still up in the air and up for grabs?

In general, base n is referred to as n-ary. So I’d just call base 36 36-ary.

I’m not sure, but I believe that these formats are pretty rigidly constructed from the Latin (though I’m not sure what the rules are.) Thus, according to the latin words for 36 and 173, you can derive the adjectival forms. There isn’t as much room for creativity as in naming the animal groups, say.

And I’m not sure at what point you’d seriously run into numbers that the Romans didn’t name because they were beyond their comprehension. Definitely not before 173

There is a book called (IIRC) “An Exaltation of Larks” that gives many dozen such collective names, many obviously fanciful. The book claims “murder of crows”, although I would call them “a caucus of crows”. Make them up at your own risk.

[hijack]I’ve always refered to a “murder of crows”. [/hijack]

If it’s good enough for Homer Simpson, it’s good enough for me.

Well, maybe not always. But in this case, yep.

First of all, let’s clear something up:

Not all the base names are entirely made up of Latin root words. Hexadecimal, for example, uses the Greek hexa and the Latin deci. While octo was used in Latin for eight, it also was used in Greek. Thus, octogon is more properly considered a word of Greek origin, having been used by the Greeks. Octal could thus be considered Greek, rather than Latin in origin.

If you were to use the Latin-based sexagesimal as an example, you would take the word for “thirty-sixth” in Latin, and switch “-mus” to “-mal.” Frankly, it’s been so long I forget how to count in Latin, so I can’t help there. Yikes, time to pull out the old Wheelock!!! :eek:

My college freshman year Latin teacher HATED Wheelock! It was still the text we had to use. “O, patria!” (Point taken about the “sometimes Greek” factor)

I don’t see my questions answered here, yet (although I appreciate the responses).

IS there an “official” word for Base 36?

If not, is my guess of trigintaseximal linguistically correct?

That’s the James Lipton Exhaltation of Larks, not the excellent SF book by Robert Reed.