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10^27 = HELLA BIG
March 2, 2010 2:21 PM   Subscribe

Northern California physics student proposes hella as new SI prefix.
posted by cgc373 (68 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hella bad idea.
posted by zarq at 2:25 PM on March 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


The idea's hella loony, but I still love it.
posted by rtha at 2:25 PM on March 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


It's got my stamp of approval. Go forth and calculate scientists.
posted by Think_Long at 2:26 PM on March 2, 2010


Hellsyeah.

While under the influence of some substance or another (probably life, or joi de vivre), my group of undergraduate friends invented a whole system of measurement based on the ton - the asston, the fuckton, and the metric fuckton being the primary orders of magnitude.

Also, "physics professor Daniel Cox" is clearly not from California, as he proffered this attempt at a pun:
That's a hella lot of seconds.
Clearly the linguistically correct phrase would be "That's hella long."
posted by muddgirl at 2:26 PM on March 2, 2010 [9 favorites]


Previously sorta
posted by jckll at 2:27 PM on March 2, 2010


Clearly the linguistically correct phrase would be "That's hella long."

Yes, "Hella" should always and only be followed by a single unit; hella big, hella fast, hella long. Anything else just sounds... wrong. (hella wrong, in fact.)
posted by quin at 2:32 PM on March 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


SI stands for slangy idiom?
posted by weston at 2:34 PM on March 2, 2010


Much better than fuckloada, that's for sure.
posted by eriko at 2:36 PM on March 2, 2010


You've never heard of the Millennium Falcon? It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve fuckloadameters.
posted by Think_Long at 2:39 PM on March 2, 2010 [15 favorites]


I don't know what that guy was drinking, but I bet he drank an impossibiliter of it.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:44 PM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


"twelve fuckloadameters." That would be a Humungameter.
posted by gigbutt at 2:45 PM on March 2, 2010


"twelve fuckloadameters." That would be a Humungameter.
posted by gigbutt at 4:45 PM on March 2


That's *one* letter from epynosterical.
posted by eriko at 2:48 PM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


At what point does something get big enough to be a Lovecraftianameter? Or would that only apply to metaphysical sizes?
posted by Think_Long at 2:49 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I hate, HATE this word...

That being said, this is an epic idea, and made me lol
posted by Windopaene at 2:50 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's *one* letter from epynosterical


... which itself is only two letters away from "eponysterical" :)
posted by kcds at 2:57 PM on March 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


At what point does something get big enough to be a Lovecraftianameter?

Sorry, that's a "fhtagnmeter."
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 3:01 PM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is hella big bigger than wicked big?
posted by thivaia at 3:02 PM on March 2, 2010


Like Windopaene, I cannot fucking stand that word, but this would be really hilarious.
posted by brundlefly at 3:03 PM on March 2, 2010


What's to hate about hella? I'm not from Northern California but I use the term from time to time, so I'm geniuinely curious. Does it have some regional stigma?
posted by pziemba at 3:09 PM on March 2, 2010


Can hecka-big be far behind?
posted by gingerbeer at 3:09 PM on March 2, 2010


Hey, if they can have a smoot, why not hella?
posted by languagehat at 3:09 PM on March 2, 2010


Is hella big bigger than wicked big?

Very little trumps wicked-awesome (∞ − 1, approximately). I dunno about big though. As modifiers go, I imagine hella works better than wicked with size than it does with awesomeness.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:12 PM on March 2, 2010


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posted by CynicalKnight at 3:13 PM on March 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


I think "hella" has been tainted by association with "hecka".
posted by muddgirl at 3:14 PM on March 2, 2010


I'm very sorry, but this is undoubtedly hella cool.
posted by knapah at 3:14 PM on March 2, 2010


That is one sweet ass-prefix.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:16 PM on March 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


* Free flepnor not available to robots
posted by CynicalKnight at 3:17 PM on March 2, 2010


Hella baller.
posted by june made him a gemini at 3:18 PM on March 2, 2010


Hella is too overloaded with at least 1.37 buttloads of meanings.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:21 PM on March 2, 2010


I would also like to see "grippa", "ganga", "mad", "crazy", "sick", and "phat" as well.

Because then folks can be like, "I'm grippa rich!" and be scientifically accurate.

DO THE MATH SON.
posted by yeloson at 3:22 PM on March 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Also:

Under Sendek's proposed terminology, you would say the mass of the earth is six hellagrams, and the power of the sun is 0.3 hellawatts.

Think global and sling six hellagrams!
posted by yeloson at 3:24 PM on March 2, 2010


I can't stand that goddamn word. Typical Northern Californians.
posted by Dreamcast at 3:25 PM on March 2, 2010


pziemba: What's to hate about hella? I'm not from Northern California but I use the term from time to time, so I'm geniuinely curious. Does it have some regional stigma?

Because folks from NorCal don't just use it use it from time to time, they use it all the time, Cartman-style.
posted by joedan at 3:25 PM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


OMG Dreamcast, like, what's your problem?
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 3:26 PM on March 2, 2010


Hooray for my alma mater. My wife didn't know that hella was a real word before moving out to Northern California, she thought it was something they made up for South Park. She still gets the giggles every time she hears it, 10 years later. Hecka causes outright laughter since it is spouted by people who think hella is too dirty.
posted by Badgermann at 3:36 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, I can attest that it took at least 3 years of living outside Los Angeles to get over the whole "hella" tic. I'm still working on not saying "like" during every pause in a sentence.
posted by muddgirl at 3:36 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is awesome. Thank you for posting it.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 3:42 PM on March 2, 2010


the whole "hella" tic.

The nice thing is that it never really got big in Wisconsin, so every once in a while I like to introduce it into an otherwise serious sentence;

"I was reading over your proposal and I must say, you've introduced some hella good ideas here. I think this will go over well with the Vice Presidents in our next meeting..."

All of this is said in the most solemn voice possible, with absolutely no humor displayed on the face. Most people don't even hear it or if they do, they just filter it out completely.

I love that.
posted by quin at 3:43 PM on March 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


I was always a fan of the "miliHelen", which is the amount of beauty it takes to launch one ship.
posted by spaltavian at 3:45 PM on March 2, 2010 [25 favorites]


I really don't like that word either, but this is just a completely awesome idea, and I will be sure to use it if I ever have 1027 of something.

What should we use for 10-27, though?
posted by equalpants at 3:51 PM on March 2, 2010


Is a hellagram a metric shitload?
posted by unSane at 3:53 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


If anything deserves to represent 10^27, it's hella.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 3:54 PM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


What should we use for 10-27, though?

That's hella small.
posted by knapah at 3:56 PM on March 2, 2010


I will be sure to use it if I ever have 10^27 of something.

Since Avogadro's constant is 6x10^23, 5000 moles of oxygen would have a hellacious number of molecules. 1 mole of oxygen is about liters at STP, so 5000 of them would be 110,000 liters. Each breath is about 2.4 liters, so that's about 45,000 human breaths' worth. At the average respiratory rate of 12 breaths per minute, you would inhale that volume of air -- containing 10^27 molecules -- in just over two and half days.

I'll get my coat.
posted by unSane at 4:01 PM on March 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


Doesn't 1027 already have "xona-" as a prefix, followed by weka- and vunda- and uda- and treda- and sorta-...?
posted by porpoise at 4:13 PM on March 2, 2010


I can't stand that goddamn word. Typical Northern Californians.
Grrr!

posted by Dreamcast
...okay, well now I'm torn.
posted by cobra_high_tigers at 4:18 PM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is an awesome idea. Also, a joke from my (NorCal) wife:

Q: How many Northern Californians does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Hella.
posted by Paragon at 4:19 PM on March 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


Mass of Earth is ~ 6 hellagrams, which sounds about right.

If you're really paranoid, you're currently being watched by many black helicopters, maybe even a hellahelicopter.
posted by lukemeister at 4:26 PM on March 2, 2010


"twelve fuckloadameters." That would be a Humungameter.

It's also a unit mismatch. A race or run would is measured in time, (unless we are speaking of speed), so, more properly, we would say:

"You've never heard of the Millennium Falcon? It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve fuckloadaseconds."

Lucas got this wrong as well, as the original quote is "less than 12 parsecs", or less than 3.7e+14 meters.

Still, he was a great storyteller; it's a pity that damn nut killed him before he had a chance to make episodes 1-3 . You'd think a science fiction fan, even an insane "time traveling" one, would have a basic respect for a master of the art.
posted by sebastienbailard at 4:26 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


> Doesn't 1027 already have "xona-" as a prefix

I think that's just that guy's proposal, but the "Who's on first" possibilities of a of a sortahertz or a pepta-Bi2S3 mole have me rooting for it.
posted by betaray at 4:37 PM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is hella big bigger than wicked big?

Totally.
posted by Big_B at 5:12 PM on March 2, 2010


How many Nor Cal kids does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Hella


How long does it take them?


Days.
posted by Widepath at 5:17 PM on March 2, 2010


I would like to propose using LOL as the prefix for 10^27 (and maybe LAL as the prefix for 10^-27).

Can we get anonymous on this?
posted by aGee at 5:39 PM on March 2, 2010


I'm extremely okay with this idea.
posted by colinshark at 6:34 PM on March 2, 2010


If you're really paranoid, you're currently being watched by many black helicopters, maybe even a hellahelicopter.

Actually, we call those hellakizznoppers (courtesy E-40).
posted by eddydamascene at 6:35 PM on March 2, 2010


very very funny...but i wasn't aware that the universe had a diameter...maybe they mean 'observable universe'. hella big difference.
posted by sexyrobot at 7:58 PM on March 2, 2010


Can I be really boring and say that since the other prefixes in the sequence are based on greek words for numbers, the 10^27 should be some variation on ennea-? So it would be enameters or eyameters or something. 10^-27 would probably be nona- (based on the Latin). It could also be something like 'suvto-' from the Danish syvtyve.

I am a sad, sad person.
posted by Dreadnought at 8:46 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought most of the other prefixes were just based on various words for "big"? giga- from the same root as gigantic, likewise mega-; tera- meaning monstrous (as in teratology); etc. In that tradition, hella- makes perfect sense.
posted by hattifattener at 11:02 PM on March 2, 2010


I knew this was going to be Davis before I clicked on the link. It took me years to stop saying "It's hella raining" after I graduated.
posted by fshgrl at 11:13 PM on March 2, 2010


I once decided that fun should be measured in monkey-barrels. Which would be way to much fun to have (like Tesla), so the more quotidian usage would be milli-monkey-barrels. which is about .5 milli-monkey barrels to say.
posted by doozer_ex_machina at 3:55 AM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I eagerly await the anouncement of fuckton as a measurement of weight.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:17 AM on March 3, 2010


I thought most of the other prefixes were just based on various words for "big"?

That's true up to tera, which wags noticed was conveniently similar to tetra (tera is 1000^4). So when they were looking for 1000^5 they took 'penta' and cut out the middle consonant to make 'peta'. Ever since then, they've followed the practice (for the big numbers) of taking a Greek word and cutting out random middle consonants in such a way that it's easy to say in a wide range of languages. 10^27 is 1000^9, so it should be based on the Greek prefix ennea.

Of course, by that system they're going to run out when they get to 10^30, because they'll be back to deca again. Maybe it'll be 'deia' or something (meaning 'god-like hugeness'?).
posted by Dreadnought at 7:55 AM on March 3, 2010


So would "hellameter" be pronounced "HELL-uh-MEE-tur" or "hell-AM-uh-tur"?
posted by not_on_display at 6:59 PM on March 3, 2010


pent-AM-uh-tur

hex-AM-uh-tur

hell-AM-uh-tur
posted by unSane at 8:10 PM on March 3, 2010


CENT-uh-MEET-ur
MILL-uh-MEET-ur
SFIG-mom-uh-NOM-uh-tur
HELL-uh-MEET-ur
posted by not_on_display at 10:00 PM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe E30 can be crunk, to keep it regional.

"There is about a crunkton of mass that needs to be moved this weekend"


I am not from Little Rock
All my friends are, though :'(
posted by rubah at 5:16 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hella rack and headlights.
posted by phoque at 4:25 AM on March 6, 2010


As seen in Time magazine.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:47 AM on March 10, 2010


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