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*To*: Stanley T. Shebs <shebs%utah-orion@UTAH-CS.ARPA>, common-lisp@SU-AI.ARPA*Subject*: Underspecification of ~R*From*: David C. Plummer <DCP@QUABBIN.SCRC.Symbolics.COM>*Date*: Mon, 8 Dec 86 08:29 EST*In-reply-to*: <8612060457.AA21384@utah-orion.ARPA>

Date: Fri, 5 Dec 86 21:57:09 MST From: shebs%utah-orion@utah-cs.arpa (Stanley T. Shebs) ... I would prefer to see "minus four" and have an error for negative cardinals, since "minus fourth" sounds pretty strange! (dolist (power '(-4 -2 0 2 4)) (format t "~A to the ~:R power~%" "X" power)) X to the minus fourth power X to the minus second power X to the zeroth power X to the second power X to the fourth power Doesn't sound strange to me. Sandra suggests "a lot" as the right way to print large integers, while I favor "many" (consider the New Guinea tribes whose number system is "one", "two", "three", "many"). There should also be a definite bound on integer size (I would make it low; "five decillion" also looks pretty strange). Finally, keep in mind that Americans and Britons do things differently above one million - perhaps the time zone returned by get-decoded-time should be used to decide whether to print "billion" or "milliard" (which do Canadians use anyway?). Security in obscurity? Some systems (e.g. Symbolics) punt after certain limits. (dotimes (i 10) (format t "10^~D ~@R~%" i (expt 10 i)))10^0 I 10^1 X 10^2 C 10^3 M 10^4 10000 10^5 100000 10^6 1000000 10^7 10000000 10^8 100000000 10^9 1000000000 (do ((i 8 (+ i 2))) ((> i 50)) (format t "10^~D ~R~%" i (expt 10 i))) 10^8 one hundred million 10^10 ten billion 10^12 one trillion 10^14 one hundred trillion 10^16 ten quadrillion 10^18 one quintillion 10^20 one hundred quintillion 10^22 ten sextillion 10^24 one septillion 10^26 one hundred septillion 10^28 ten octillion 10^30 one nonillion 10^32 one hundred nonillion 10^34 ten decillion 10^36 one undecillion 10^38 one hundred undecillion 10^40 ten duodecillion 10^42 one times ten to the forty-second power 10^44 one hundred times ten to the forty-second power 10^46 ten times ten to the forty-fifth power 10^48 one times ten to the forty-eighth power 10^50 one hundred times ten to the forty-eighth power One could possibly claim no "reasonable" program would be working properly (or was given proper inputs) if it ever tried to make such large numbers intelligible. Of course, the : and @ options could just be omitted... stan the obscure

**References**:**Underspecification of ~R***From:*shebs%utah-orion@utah-cs.arpa (Stanley T. Shebs)

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