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How is this a word???

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ok, I'm addicted to a game called "word challenge" where the computer gives you 6 letters and you come up with as many words as you can. I got all but one for one letter set. The word I missed was "nth". When did this become a word??? Now, I understand something to the nth power, but to me that is an abbriviation for something...not an actual word! What is "n". If you spell it, it should be "enth". "Nth" isn't pronouncable...there are no vowels.

Yes, this annoyed me (if you can't tell). Now, I have to start all over.
post #2 of 8
nth is a word....

And no, it wouldn't be spelled 'enth', since you would never have anything to the 'en' power.
post #3 of 8
It's in the dictionary, I know that much
I believe it started as a purely mathematical term, and we all know how much sense higher mathematics makes
post #4 of 8
The correct spelling is 'nth', never 'enth'.

From dictionary.com:

nth
–adjective 1.\tbeing the last in a series of infinitely decreasing or increasing values, amounts, etc.
2.\t(of an item in a series of occurrences, planned events, things used, etc., that is thought of as being infinitely large) being the latest, or most recent: This is the nth time I've told you to eat slowly.

—Idiom3.\tthe nth degree or power, \ta.\ta high degree or power.
b.\tthe utmost degree or extent: The new hotel was luxurious to the nth degree.

I am afraid word challenge was correct.
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
It's in the dictionary, I know that much
I believe it started as a purely mathematical term, and we all know how much sense higher mathematics makes
How true.
post #6 of 8
Sorry, it's in Merriam Webster as well

1 : numbered with an unspecified or indefinitely large ordinal number <for the nth time>
2 : extreme, utmost <to the nth degree>

I wouldn't have got that either, but at least you learnt something
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
The correct spelling is 'nth', never 'enth'.

From dictionary.com:

nth
–adjective 1.\tbeing the last in a series of infinitely decreasing or increasing values, amounts, etc.
2.\t(of an item in a series of occurrences, planned events, things used, etc., that is thought of as being infinitely large) being the latest, or most recent: This is the nth time I've told you to eat slowly.

—Idiom3.\tthe nth degree or power, \ta.\ta high degree or power.
b.\tthe utmost degree or extent: The new hotel was luxurious to the nth degree.

I am afraid word challenge was correct.
LOL, oh I know it was correct. They have an online dictionary and I checked it. Can't argue with the computer anyway. I was just frustrated because I used every combination I could find with vowels and nothing. I just don't think it SHOULD be a word. If "n" stands for "infinity" (per the first adj definition) it is an abbreviation, not an actual word. I still think that an actual word has to have a vowel in it. But, who am I to argue with computers!
post #8 of 8
I feel the same way about a lot of these "invented" words that get accepted by dictionary usage panels. Appearing in the dictionary makes it acceptable, but in my mind, it doesn't make it right! Hmph!
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