--- In [log in to unmask], R A Brown <ray@C...> wrote:
> Andreas Johansson wrote:
> > Quoting R A Brown <ray@C...>:
> [snip]
> >>Humph - altho we have _sexaginta_ (60), _sexagesimus_ (60th) etc, 
> >>use of -a- as an infix between 'sex' and another morpheme is not
> >>productive in Latin. The Latin for 16 is 'sedecim'.
> > 
> > Well, I suppose that explains why one of my programming textbooks 
insisted on
> > writing 'sedecimal' instead of 'hexadecimal'.
> It does indeed  :)
> I must confess I had not encountered 'sedecimal' before, but Google 
> given me 526 hits.


> *sedecimus have actually occurred? It may well be that it is only 
> chance that we have no actual record of it, and have only the more 
> long-winded _sextus decimus_ forms.
> Personally, I find _sedecimal_ much more preferable to the ghastly 
> hybrid 'hexadecimal' and it is not likely to arouse all those 
> urges that, apparently, 'sextidecimal' does  ;)

Has anyone else besides me noticed that "semester", which 
etymologically meant "six months", has been folk-etymologized 
as "semi-"+ something?

This appears to account for some companies' uses of "trimester" for a 
third of a year.

When discussing gestation people recognize "trimester" as three 
months; yet when discussing the fiscal calendar these same people -- 
many of them parents, even mothers -- think of a trimester as being 
four months long.

Who else has noticed this?


Tom H.C. in MI