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Mike Farris dun ryt:
Don Harlowe dun alredi ryt:
 
> > Actually, I'm not totally sure that it means that a million records have
> > been sold. But the term is certainly supposed to give that impression. In
> > modern English, as a prefix (and it isn't used in any other way), "mega-"
> > definitely means "one million". (In technicalese, incidentally, I believe
> > this is "international" -- at least in W. Europe.)
>
> I disagree, it may very well have the technicalese meaning 'one million" but
> in everyday words, to me, it just means "to a very large degree" "extremely
> large (amount)" in colloquial American, I've heard it used in the meaning
> "extremely" as in
>
> "She was mega-unfrinedly"
 
For a word or prefix to slide from meaning "one million" to meaning
"a very large number; to an extreme degree" is like water flowing
downhill. This sort of thing has happened billions of times. Typically,
too, both meanings can coexist in the language without too much trouble,
and people don't have trouble in grasping which one is meant. It's a
nano-difficulty, really. Language is metaphor.
 
I believe that myrio- (meaning 10,000 times) was one of the original
SI prefixes, but no-one uses the related "myriad" to mean 10,000
nowadays.
 
Cheers,
 
Chris