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Names necessary to Numbers.       §6. This, I think, to be the reason why some Americans, I have
spoken with, (who were otherwise of quick and rational Parts
enough,) could not, as we do, by any means count to 1000; nor had
any distinct Idea of that Number, though they could reckon very
well to 20. Because their Language being scanty, and accommodated
only to the few necessaries of a needy simple Life, unacquainted
either with Trade or Mathematicks, had no Words in it to stand
for 1000; so that when they were discoursed with of those greater
Numbers, they would shew the Hairs of their Head, to express a
great multitude, which they could not number; which inability, I
suppose, proceeded from their want of Names. The Tououpinambos
had no Names for Numbers above 5; any Number beyond that,
they made out by shewing their Fingers, and the Fingers of others
who were present [ Histoire d’un Voiage fait en la Terre du Bresil, par Jean de Lery, c. 20. 307/382. ]: And I doubt not but we our selves might
distinctly number in Words, a great deal farther than we usually do,
would we find out but some fit denominations to signifie them by;
whereas in the way we take now to name them by Millions of
Millions of Millions, etc. it is hard to go beyond eighteen, or at most
four and twenty decimal Progressions, without confusion. But to
shew how much distinct Names conduce to our well reckoning, or having
useful Ideas of Numbers, let us set all these following Figures in one
continued Line, as the Marks of one Number: v.g.

Nonilions. Octilions. Septilions. Sextilions. Quintilions. Quatrilions. Trilions. Bilions. Milions. Unites.
857324. 162486. 345896. 437916. 423147. 248106. 235421. 261734. 368149. 623137.

The ordinary way of naming this Number in English, will be the
often repeating of Millions, of Millions, of Millions, of Millions, of
Millions, of Millions, of Millions, of Millions, (which is the denom-
ination of the second six Figures.) In which way, it will be very hard
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to have any distinguishing Notions of this Number: But whether,
by giving every six Figures a new and orderly denomination, these,
and perhaps a great many more Figures, in progression, might not
easily be counted distinctly, and Ideas of them both got more easily
to our selves, and more plainly signified to others, I leave it to be
considered. This I mention only to shew how necessary distinct
Names are to Numbering, without pretending to introduce new
ones of my invention.
Locke Hum II, 16, §6, pp. 207-208