Naming Nine Things
Date: 01/15/2003 at 09:41:22 From: Connie P. (Middle School Math teacher) Subject: Naming nine things (like 3 is triplet) What is the correct name for nine things collectively? I can only fine the answer up to 7, septuplet, which has been highly publicized with the McCoy babies. I am guessing nonet because non as in nonagon represents a nine-sided figure.
Date: 01/15/2003 at 10:16:48 From: Doctor Peterson Subject: Re: Naming nine things (like 3 is triplet) Hi, Connie. You've got the right basic idea, though our FAQ lists enneagon rather than nonagon, because "non-" is the Latin prefix for 9 while "ennea-" is the Greek prefix, which fits better with the Greek "-gon". My dictionary (American Heritage) lists "octuple," "nonuple," and "decuple," so the natural thing is to add a "t" to each to make the form you want for a set of babies: triplet quadruplet quintuplet sextuplet septuplet octuplet nonuplet decuplet I notice my dictionary doesn't even list "septuplet," probably because there hadn't been any when it was published; but "sextuplet" is listed as formed by combining "sextuple" with the ending of "triplet," supporting this assumption. Even m-w.com lists only up to sextuplet, and it doesn't include octuple or nonuple but does have decuple. In math, the corresponding term would just be "9-tuple"; why use words when numbers will do? In music, you would use "sextet," "septet," "octet," "nonet"; these are all listed in m-w.com. If you have any further questions, feel free to write back. - Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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