Heximal Or, how to really read hexadecimal

Many debates have been had about the “correct” way to pronounce hexadecimal numbers. (If you ask me, you should just stick to the standard and go with the Nato spelling alphabet: alpha, bravo, charlie…) But what if you don’t want to just read hexadecimal? What if you want to… count?

A great number of brave souls have tried, but more often than not, their attempts turn out utter nonsense. Christeen, dickety-one, and fimteek are just some of the horrors found in existing ideas for hexadecimal numbering. Armed with inspiration from the base-6 seximal, i set out to make a better system. Introducing: heximal.

Counting from 1–F

Counting from 00 to C is easy:

Number Word
1 one
2 two
3 three
4 four
5 five
6 six
7 seven
8 eight
9 nine
A (10) ten
B (11) eleven
C (12) twelve

Where we go from here is a challenge. Given that this is base sixteen, we can’t exactly say thirteen, fourteen, or fifteen; instead, we can shorten the letters of the Nato spelling alphabet: del from delta, eck or ech2 from echo, and fox from foxtrot.

Number Word
D (13) del
E (14) eck or ech
F (15) fox

10 to FF

10 is called hex, and as in any sensible system, right after that comes hex-one.

Number Word
10 (16) hex
11 (17) hex-one
12 (18) hex-two
13 (19) hex-three
Et cetera…
1F (31) hex-fox

Numbering continues along the same lines as decimal’s -ty, with the relevant suffix being -ex.

Number Word
20 (32) twennex
21 (33) twennex-one
30 (48) thirtex
40 (64) fourex
50 (80) fiffex
60 (96) sixex
69 (105) sixex-nine3
70 (112) sevenex
80 (128) eightex
90 (144) ninex
A0 (160) tennex
B0 (176) elevex
C0 (192) twelvex
D0 (208) deltex
E0 (224) eckex or echex
F0 (240) foxex
FF (255) foxex-fox

Higher and higher

The logical term for a value of 100 is — what else? — a byte.

Number Word
100 (256) one byte
3E8 (1000) three byte eckex-eight
7E7 (2023) seven byte eckex-seven
1000 (4096) hex byte
2710 (10,000) twennex-seven byte hex

Programming languages which particularly concern themselves with memory like to call any number below 104 a short, a term we’ll appropriate for our own evil purposes.

Number Word
1,0000 (65,536) one short
F,4240 (1.00×106) fox short fourex-two byte fourex
10B,000 (1.75×107) one byte twelve short4
13C9,0000 (3.32×108) hex-three byte twelvex-nine short5
3B9A,CA00 (1.00×109) thirtex-eleven byte ninex-ten short…

Building upon short in the manner of decimal’s -illion series, we can reach some truly dizzying mathematical heights…

Number Word In decimal
108 one bort 4.29×109
1.DF×108 one bort, deltex-fox byte short6 8.03×109
10C one trort 2.80×1014
1010 one quadrort 1.84×1019
2.58×1010 two quadrort, fiffex-eight byte trort7 4.33×1019
7.F8×1013 seven byte fox-eight quadrort8 6.02×1023
1014 one quinort 1.21×1024
1018 one sexort 7.92×1028
101C one septort 5.19×1033
1020 one octort 3.40×1038
1024 one nonort 2.23×1043
1028 one decort 1.46×1048
102C one elevort 9.58×1052
1030 one dozenort 6.28×1057
1034 one deltort 4.11×1062
1038 one eckort or echort 2.70×1067
103C one foxort 1.77×1072
1040 one hexort 1.16×1077
1044 one hexishort 7.59×1081
1048 one hexibort 4.97×1086
1080 one bihexort 1.34×10154
10C0 one trihexort 1.55×10231
10100 one quadrihexort or one hexgol 1.80×10308
10400 one bytort 1.04×101233
104000 one hexibytort 2.00×1019,278

I’ve decided to end the naming scheme just short (heh) of what would otherwise be a "shortort", to save it from collapsing in on itself. This means that the largest named number is… [inhales]

Number Word In decimal
1040,000−1 foxex-fox byte foxex-fox foxihexifoxibytifoxihexifoxort, foxex-fox byte foxex-fox foxikayfoxibytifoxihexeckort, […] foxex-fox byte foxex-fox 6.74×10315,652

…Oh, go on then. Two more.

Number Word In decimal
1010100 One hexgolplex 102.16×10308
101010100 One hexgolplexian 10102.16×10308
← Back to home

Leave a comment

    Please be nice. Comments may be edited for proper spelling and capitalisation, because i’m a pedant. Basic formatting: *bold*, /italics/, [//satyrs.eu links]→ More