Eleven and Twelve... WTF???

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Eleven and Twelve... WTF???

Okay so I've got a question for everyone. Granted it's not a very good one, but my curiosity has been peeked and now I need to know.

Why are 11 and 12 called eleven and twelve and not oneteen and twoteen? 13 and 15 are also different but I figure that's because overtime they naturally evolved into words easier to say. 11 and 12 however that's strikes me as kind'a odd.

Just to be clear, yes I realize this is a bit of a silly question. But I find retarded questions like this interesting as all heck. However I didn't really get interested in this one until a friend told me it was the same in Spanish. Now why would two completely separate languages have such a odd similarity? Coincidence? Maybe, but that wouldn't be cool.

There's got to be a reason, or better yet a secret (My eyes just got big) What if it's the case for every language out there. And it's all because the aliens who seeded life on this planet hid there stores of knowledge where only someone who can figure out their secret will find it!!! I mean yeah two languages isn't much, but if only one more was the case that would have to mean something right? And since languages and number systems would have been made before any real math could have been started. It's safe to reckon there wasn't a lot of long distance traveling going on until after those numbers were named. It'd be kind'a hard to build a boat or wagon without at least a basic math in place right? So short of one set of people getting smart real early in evolution and being the first to visit everyone else why would separate languages single out 2 numbers from their entire system?

And on a similar topic, why are there teens in the 1st place huh??? Why isn't it onety-one, onety-two, etc, etc?!?!?!

I've tried a Google search, and except finding out that there are actually other people who've wondered this before me I didn't really learn anything. There's some theory about them meaning one after ten and two after ten, but personally I find it pretty lame. I like my theory better. So if any of you know languages other then English and Spanish can you let me know if 11 and 12 stand out in them too? Oh and any Spanish speakers if you can confirm that they stand out like my friend said that'd be great too.

And for those of you who think I have no life and just watch Stargate all day... well.... "In deed".



Re: Eleven and Twelve... WTF???

Good question.  I'm watching for the answer!

Re: Eleven and Twelve... WTF???

[quote=NeverSayDie]I've tried a Google search, and except finding out that there are actually other people who've wondered this before me I didn't really learn anything. [/quote]

spend some time on the wiki. it's really quite educational.

Tuna ><(((( '> the other white meat! I am Keeper Of The Whip!

Re: Eleven and Twelve... WTF???

How about why 1st 2nd and 3rd have different suffixes than everything else... all other numbers end with 'th'... fifth, sixth, seventh... etc..... 

You're blowin my mind mannnn

Vash the Stampede
Re: Eleven and Twelve... WTF???

ooooooh wikipedia youuuuuu.  youve got an answer for everything.  your so pedantic!  lol.

 i think its because theyre still cherubs and not yet ready to 'teen.'

Re: Eleven and Twelve... WTF???

It appears that the way 11 and 12 are named has more to do with linguistics and word entymology than mathematics. 

Read  this: http://www.linguistlist.org/issues/6/6-1199.html#1



Re: Eleven and Twelve... WTF???

I may not be a computer geek, yet -  but I am a word nerd.

 There is a great book - you can google scholar search and preview - Mathematics: From the Birth of Numbers, by Jan Gullberg. 

Chapter 1.1 covers numbers and language.  It's a bit of a read, but a fascinating one.  In short, way back in the day, we counted on our two hands.  The etymology of numbers reflects this for many languages.  For example, eleven can is a translation of "one left from ten [fingers]" and twelve is "two left from ten. "  I didn't re-read the chapter, but I seem to remember that one early language represents the use of their toes for the teens up to the number 20, so 21 is a translation of something like "hey you need another guy to keep counting."    

Since "ty" means ten - it is logical for onety-two to equal 12 - except if you were using your toes, and then you had a name for the tens already and didn't need a way to represent them.  Perhaps the use of ty became necessary if you wished to count and there wasn't another guy around to use his fingers and toes.  After one exhausted the use of their own, twoe-ty (two tens) was representative. 

French treats 11 and 12 differently, and this will really freak you out, so does ASL.

Many word roots are nearly exact among the Romance languages.  But many words are very similar in all languages, and I can go on about this topic forever, so I won't.  But, bascially humans all acquire language in exactly the same way regardless of what language they are acquiring (including sign language).  The phonemes or basics sounds that we physiologically CAN make first, we do.  And not coincidentally those phonemes (m, b, p, f) begin the words we first need the most.  I can't think of a language where "warm person who hold me and feeds me" isn't something similar to Mama.  The left side of the brain is more responsible for the acquisition of language.   Quickly and naturally, pretend you are holding a baby.   Which ear is facing up?  Fascinating, eh?  

Combine a few archeaological theories with some language theories and it begins with one people, one language migrating.  The further away or the more isolated the people the more different and unique the language. 

Okay, my brain hurts now and I need more coffee.

Jump right to page 27 if you want to avoid brain pain. 


Re: Eleven and Twelve... WTF???

Haha. Wikipedia is great... Just think, if you spent all this time you have doing something productive, you could cure cancer! 


---The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had---

Re: Eleven and Twelve... WTF???

My brain hurts now.  Lol.  NSD always thinking up something aren't ya?  This is a indeed a good question and I am now going to have to head on over to all the links posted by everyone.   

I<3 Wikipedia. 

"You've got to be crazy, gotta have a real need."

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