News from Shakes Manor

Liss: Hey, you know how there's like a million and a billion and a trillion and a quadrillion and a quintillion and a sextillion and a septillion and an octillion and decillion? What the nine one?

Mr. Shakes: [stunned by the nonsequitur of the century] What?

Liss: You know, like multiples of a million. I know all the way up to ten, except for nine. Million, billion, trillion, quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion, septillion, octillion…what comes next?

Mr. Shakes: What the fook are ye talking aboot, wooman?

Liss: Okay, like I just read this article not long ago saying that we'd have 1.2 septillion ancestors without inbreeding, if there hadn't been so much of your-uncle-who's-also-your-cousin kind of stuff. And I got to thinking about septillion, and how I knew all the multiples except the nine one.

Mr. Shakes: It's impoossible tae have fooking sepjillion ancestoors oor whatever that stupid noomber is because there are moore people alive today than there have ever been—

Liss: I know, I know! I said that's how many we'd have without inbreeding, like if it was a straight shot backwards: Two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, and so on. But it doesn't work out that way, because of people marrying cousins and wev. But never mind all that. That was just where the thought about septillions came from and how I didn't know the prefix to indicate a multiple of nine.

Mr. Shakes: It doosn't matter, because noo oone uses thoose woords. They say 10 tae the poower oof soomething. Noo scientist says "quintillion" oor whatever the fook you're babbling aboot, ye wee mad thing.

Liss: Okay, just forget multiples of a million, Mr. Literal Brain. Let's make it multiple births. Twins, triplets, quads, quints, sextuplets, septuplet, octuplets, and then…?

Mr. Shakes: Noontuplets.

Liss: Non? Really? That doesn't sound right.

Mr. Shakes: It is. Noo be shooshed; I'm trying tae goo tae sleep.

Liss: I don't think it's non. Are you telling me a nine-sided figure is called a nonagon?

Mr. Shakes: Aye. Noonagoon.

Liss: "I am a nonagon. I have nine sides." Nonagon's a crappy name to have.

Mr. Shakes: Dae ye knoo hoo many sides a doodecahedroon has?

Liss: A nonillion?

Mr. Shakes: Och aye, wooman. Enoough with the illions!

Liss: Hmm, yeah, a dodecahedron has twelve sides. I guess that makes a 1 followed by 39 zeroes a dodecillion. I don't know the eleven one, though.

Mr. Shakes: Fooking hell.

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