nondescript

If you feel that your question or comment doesn't fit into the categories above, feel free to post it here.

nondescript

Post by dalehileman » Sun Jan 30, 2005 3:45 pm

This is going to sound like a silly question, but I am conducting a perfectly serious experiment (can’t tell you purpose of experiment because that would ruin it)

What is the most nondescript number between 0 and 61?

Thanks guys
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

nondescript

Post by Nimo Piquter » Sun Jan 30, 2005 4:47 pm

You're right, it does sound like a silly question, but perhaps it is not.

Is it an experiment, or a survey? Whichever, I'm game. The correct answer to your question is, of course, 37.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

nondescript

Post by Phil White » Sun Jan 30, 2005 7:06 pm

Dale, how are we supposed to tell the difference between this brand of silly question and... Okay, forget it.

The hit single "nineteen" from about 20 years ago was a pretty nondescript number.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

nondescript

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sun Jan 30, 2005 8:01 pm

Dale, Before I begin my analysis I must comment that your question is poorly posed and is ambiguous because it is not clear whether you are using the inclusive or exclusive ‘between.’ That is, are 0 & 61 to be included or excluded? (&lt)

Ken
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

nondescript

Post by dalehileman » Sun Jan 30, 2005 8:38 pm

Ken--Excluded--I didn't even realize there were two kinds of between
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

nondescript

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sun Jan 30, 2005 9:12 pm

.. my first one was 37 as it came to mind but that hardly makes it nondescript as I thought of it first .. then I went to 42 as being the universal answer .. but finished with 57 .. can't say why .. so 57 it is Dale ..

WoZ of Aus 31/01/05
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

nondescript

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sun Jan 30, 2005 10:28 pm

Dale, For the purpose of answering this question in a definitive way, I am going with the following definitions”

NONDESCRIPT: Lacking distinctive qualities; undistinguished or uninteresting; dull [and, of course, the root of the word is the Latin ‘describere,’ meaning write down, transcribe]

NUMBER: A symbol or word used to represent a number; a numeral or a series of numerals used for reference or identification; a written word, symbol, or group of symbols representing a number

Then the answer must be ‘1.’ As a single vertical stroke, the number ‘1’ is the least distinctive and visually least interesting – most nondescript – of the other 59 possibilities. It also might be considered less interesting to some (but possibly more to others) because of the property mentioned in the note below. And considering its Latin root, one might also think in terms of writing down the ‘least,’ which ‘1’ does definitely accomplish.

Note: If we consider ‘number’ to mean ‘that which makes one numb’ (<:), such as from not being interesting and thus boring (e.g. “That lecture was a real number.”), ‘1’ is still the answer, since when you multiply by one, nothing much changes and if you add or subtract ‘1,’ this is less of a change, and thus less of an infusion of excitement – for those who get excited over this sort of thing – than with the addition or subtraction of any other number in the given set. And, of course, it can claim to be neither prime nor even.

Q.E.D. (and that ain’t quantum electrodynamics!)

Ken - January 30, 2005
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

nondescript

Post by Mel » Mon Jan 31, 2005 12:38 am

Six of One was formed at the end of 1976, to appreciate the classic 1967 TV series THE PRISONER, starring Patrick McGoohan. The character he played was known only as ‘No. 6’ and was held in a strange fantasy setting, called ‘The Village’. Leaders called ‘No. 2’ prevented his escape, but the mystery figure ‘No. 1’ was the ultimate authority.

30TH ANNIVERSARY DUE IN 2006

Sorry No 1 is far too important to be described as nondescript. The most nondescript must be "57" old bean.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Another season another reason....

nondescript

Post by Ken Greenwald » Mon Jan 31, 2005 4:02 am

Sorry Mel, but '57' will never cut it in the U.S. The number is etched into our collective psyche. Every Heinz ketchup bottle (think U.S. Presidential candidate John Kerry’s wife), of which there are millions staring us in the face from our refrigerators, to lunch counters, to steak houses, to supermarket aisles, has the old Heinz company slogan on it ‘57 Varieties’ – so definitely very unnondescript around here.

Ken
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

nondescript

Post by Nimo Piquter » Mon Jan 31, 2005 5:45 am

Also, the slang expression "57" is used to refer to an animal, usually a dog, which is a mix of so many breeds that its genetic origins are indeterminate, i.e. a mongrel.

Ken, your "proof" demonstrating that 1 is the most nondescript number seems to prove the exact opposite: that it is a very special and unique number, having properties shared by no other number.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

nondescript

Post by Ken Greenwald » Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:01 am

Nimo, You could say that. And I suppose one could also say that being plain sometimes makes some things distinctive! (<:)

Ken G – January 31, 2004
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

nondescript

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:05 am

I nominate 57/1.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: -- Looking up a word? Try OneLook's metadictionary (--> definitions) and reverse dictionary (--> terms based on your definitions)8-- Contribute favourite diary entries, quotations and more here8 -- Find new postings easily with Active Topics8-- Want to research a word? Get essential tips from experienced researcher Ken Greenwald

nondescript

Post by Phil White » Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:01 am

Any number meek enough as to be unprotestingly divided by two, or even more so by ten must take the biscuit. 20 has my vote, as the remainder after division in either case is also a bland and meek number. Numbers should have the strength of character to resist division, and hence rule, by other parties.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

nondescript

Post by Mel » Mon Jan 31, 2005 5:40 pm

Ken, in the UK Heinz are best known for their baked beans. Hence my "old beans" were sown on stony ground.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Another season another reason....

nondescript

Post by kagriffy » Mon Jan 31, 2005 7:50 pm

I vote for 1/3. When written in decimal format, it becomes .333333333333333333 . . . . Keep writing the 3s long enough, and it becomes very boring/nondescript. Another contender might be "e," which is used in logarithms and is so nondescript I can't even remember what it stands for! *G*
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature:
K. Allen Griffy
Springfield, Illinois (USA)

Post Reply