Size Words
Size Words

Allen Klinger, © 8/15/2011

Million is just one word that describes large quantity. Billion, another one, means something different in England than the U.S.A. A new word invented or coined in the 20th century Googol and a variation associated with computer search, Google, both deal with very large quantity; see Size and Applications there. Of the many words expressing vast amounts, some occur from investigating simple ideas. One such situation is at New Number and Modulo n. Another is this quotation from Frank Pilhofer's web page Googolplex (there, mention is made of Googol appearing in the American Heritage Dictionary):

"Edward Kasner once asked his nine-year-old nephew (Milton Sirotta) to invent a name for a very large number, ten to the power of one hundred; and the boy called it a googol. He thought this was a number to overflow people's minds, being bigger than anything that can ever be put into words. Another mathematician then shot back with Googolplex, and defined it to be 10 to the power of Googol" (quotes from Googolplex).

But ennead is a word that deals with a much smaller quantity. The dictionary* defines that as "A group or set of nine." (*; Lexico Publishing Group, LLC, 2005)
A full discussion of the issue raised here, the words for very large numbers, appears in Conway, John H. and Guy, Richard K., The Book of Numbers, NY: Springer-Verlag, 1996, pp. 13-16.
The following very large number was found by Peter Montgomery. [Further information: see New Number and Modulo n.] It is the second known example of an integer number n such that n | 2^n -3 (n evenly divides 2 raised to the nth power, that result then reduced by 3).

63130707451134435989380140059866138830623361447484274774099906755 =

63,130,707,451,134,435,989,380,140,059,866,138,830,623,361,447,484,274,774,099,906,755 =

63 vigintillions, 130 novemdecillions 707 octodecillions, 451 septendecillions, 134 sexdecillions, 435 quindecillions, 989 quattuordecillions, 380 tredecillions, 140 duodecillions, 59 undecillions, 866 decillions, 138 nonillions, 830 octillions, 623 septillions, 361 sextillions, 447 quintillions, 484 quadrillions, 274 trillions, 774 billions, 99 millions, 906 thousands, 755 (see below re V. Ramirez).

George Hernandez wrote about some of these size words pico, nano, micro, mega, giga, Terra/terra, peta, exa, zatta, yotta as follows:

B - Byte. Eight bits, equivalent to one character. See also b.

b - Bit. A contraction of 'binary' and 'digit.' All computer information consists of combinations of the binary digits 0 and 1 ... Bits and bytes are often expressed in multiples approximating metric system prefixes: k (kilo, 103), M (mega, 106), G (giga, 109), T (terra, 1012), P (peta, 1015), and E (exa, 1018). In actuality, the prefixes refer to different powers that 2 would be raised to: k (210), M (220), G (230), T (240), P (250), and E (260).

The IEEE has suggested that small prefixes refer to decimal powers (e.g., kb = 1000 b) and capital prefixes refer to binary powers (eg Kb = 1024 b) but practically no one is consistent with this. (Source: George Hernandez accessed 8/15/11.)
The following was communicated by Victor Ramirez, a UCLA senior:

"I found out how to say the large number. I separated it by commas to make it easier. Here's the names of the places ..." :

63, 1063 vigintillions place

130, 1060 novemdecillions

707, 1057 octodecillions

451, 1054 septendecillions

134, 1051 sexdecillions

435, 1048 quindecillions

989, 1045 quattuordecillions

380, 1042 tredecillions

140, 1039 duodecillions

059, 1036 undecillions

866, 1033 decillions

138, 1030 nonillions

830, 1027 octillions

623, 1024 septillions

361, 1021 sextillions

447, 1018 quintillions

484, 1015 quadrillions

274, 1012 trillions

774, 109 billions

099, 106 millions

906, 103 thousands

755 100 ones

The above material is from an electronic mail message sent by Mr. Ramirez dated 28 February 2002.

Search led to the following site: Large Place Values (source of the tables below). A dictionary confirmed one of the above definitions (although there are still variations between English/French and American definitions and usage).

quadrillions 1015
quintillions 1018
sextillions 1021
septillions 1024
octillions 10 27
nonillions 10 30
decillions 10 33
undecillions 10 36
duodecillions 1039
15 August 2011 Version
©2011 Allen Klinger