Re: dozenal and hexadecimal digits

From: Timothy Partridge (
Date: Tue May 16 2000 - 14:47:13 EDT

John Cowan recently said:

> Michael Everson wrote:
> > >And, by the way, do you know whether base-4 numbers have a special name?
> >
> > Tetradecimal, I suspect.
> Arrgh, no. That would be base 14, and a bogus Greco-Latin hybrid to boot.
> We already have a hybrid for base 16, which is bad enough.
> Raymond Brown, former teacher of Classics, posted the following table on
> Conlang:
> 2 binary dimidial dyadic
> 3 ternary/trinary tertial triadic
> 4 quaternary quartal tetradic
> 5 quinary quintal pentadic

I've just had a look at my Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.

It helpfully defines Tetrad as a Biological term for a quaternary unit of

Tetradic is used in Chemistry and defining metres in rhymes.
Quartal isn't listed (but it is only the shorter OED :-)
Quaternary is defined as consisting of four things or parts, now chiefly used in Chemistry.
Dates from 1605.

The Quaternary number is either 4 or 10 (from Pythagorean 1+2+3+4 = 10).

I'd go for quaternary.


Tim Partridge. Any opinions expressed are mine only and not those of my employer

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