### Ordinary

This is a chapter from my eight book called Learn to live

Despite the title, this is no ordinary chapter. Today I learnt that the suffixes in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th come from the last two letters of the words first, second, third and fourth. My friend Gemini tells me that ordinal numbers are numbers that indicate the position or rank of something in a list or sequence. They tell us the order of things, like first, second, third and so on. For example, if you finish a race in the third position, you are the third-place finisher. The number "third" here is an ordinal number. The word "ordinal" is derived from the Latin word "ordinalis" which means "of order." So, when we use ordinal numbers, we're essentially assigning an order to things, and that's why they're called "ordinal."

My Computer Science background made me think about the zeroth (0th) position. My friend Gemini tells me that while "zeroth" is not a commonly used ordinal number in everyday language, it does exist and is often used in specific contexts, particularly in mathematics and science. Why do we not say oneth, twoth, and threeth? I read that the first few ordinals come from Old English and Latin roots, respectively, not from a system of simply adding "th" to cardinal numbers.

My friend Gemini tells me that the term "cardinal" comes from the Latin word "cardo" which means "hinge." This suggests that cardinal numbers are the fundamental numbers around which other mathematical concepts revolve. They are the foundation upon which other number systems, such as ordinal numbers, are built. While trying to learn the other number types besides cardinal and ordinal, I came across fuzzy numbers. My friend Gemini tells me that fuzzy numbers represent imprecise or uncertain quantities, allowing for a gradual transition between membership and non-membership.

What about infinity? Do we say infiniteth? This question was asked on reddit and I like this response by Epistaxis, "My calculus teacher was fond of saying "Infinity isn't a place; it's a direction." There isn't an ordinal for infinity because it's not a countable number. You could say nth if you're talking about some arbitrary integer n that goes in the direction of infinity." I learned that in set theory, the ordinal number ω (omega) is the smallest limit ordinal, meaning it is greater than every natural number. While searching for ordinal jokes I came across a cartoon for "special ordinals". One was 2th for tooth and another was 4st for forest. Quite clever. This got me thinking. How are ordinal number abbreviations 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th translated in other languages? In Spanish for example they use 1.ª (primera) for "first" (feminine) and 1.º (primero) for "first" (masculine). I feel like ending on a philosophical note. Every journey has a first step, second chances, and a final destination.

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