Friday, September 29, 2017

What is the largest number you have counted to out loud?

I take attendance by having the students answer a question.

What is the largest number you have counted to out loud?

Again we had traditionalists: 0, 10, 50, 100, 101, 1000, 1001, 1024.

Also the unusual ones: 2, 4, 13, 21, 68, 751, 827, 922, 690,000.

Also those who wanted only to give bounds: "at least 10", "<1>=1", "probably like 15".

Also, or some reason, people who count to non-integer numbers out loud? 3.5 or 3.1415926535897932386424.

And of course "a millillion (by millillions)", all of which: [sic].

My favorite was the editorialized "100, the largest known number". The award for "wrote the longest reply and went over into a paragraph in the margin, but still somehow didn't answer the prompt" goes to "I was trying to break an iron ore in minecraft with my hands. It took like 300 hits. I didn't count, but I should have."

This post's theme word is adynaton, "hyperbole in which exaggeration is taken to a ridiculous and literally impossible extreme." I never needed a word for extra-hyperbolic hyperbole until I heard someone claim they had counted to O(∞) aloud; what adynaton!

1 comment:

محمد الجزار said...
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