The Campaign

On my way to school this morning, I had an interesting thought that has led me to pursue some very significant and intentional action. I'm not sure what made me think about this little...no major... idea, but whatever it was has given me a spark quite different than anything I've experienced. So I've decided to embark on a little campaign of my own. That's right I'm gonna make a change in this world. I'm gonna get something done. I'm gonna use what little influence I have to make a difference. I WILL LEAVE MY FINGERPRINT ON THIS WORLD! So what is this campaign for proposed change? Allow me to explain!

You see I was in my truck, it was about 6:30AM (which will probably explain a lot) and I was riding through the great Alabama metropolis of Douglas (which will also explain a lot). I saw a road sign of to the right with a certain number on it. The number was 13...pronounced thirt-teen or thir-teen. My mind began to churn with thoughts about this number. Of course 13 could be considered unlucky, but in this situation that superstition bares no significance. From 13 I began to think of other numbers. And then the question came....like a lightening bolt from the sky. Why is it that the number 13 starts the set of teen numbers (you know 13-19)? What happened to 11 and 12...pronounced eee-leven and twelve? I mean, who made this rule, or designated this representation of numerical quantity?

So my campaign? It is to change the numbers of 11 and 12 to be included in the teen-number family. I will lead a charge to see these numbers join the ranks of those 7 that come after it. I propose that 11 become known as....drum roll please........ unoteen (uno taking from the Latin word for one - UNO), and I propose that 12 officially become twelveteen. Now I realize that many of you are asking why I didn't go with something more creative for the number formerly known as twelve, like dos-teen, duceteen, doubleteen or even pair-o-teen. However, twelveteen encapsulates the full meaning and measure of the number 12...plus twelveteen sounds cool.

The next question that I am sure you are asking about this proposed name for these two very significant and completely under-appreciated numbers is "will the numerical representation of 11 and 12 change as well?" I understand that if Prince can change is name to an unpronounceable symbol, then a newly pronounced number should be able to at least change their physical form. However, the answer is no they will not change their shape or physical image. 11 and 12, in numerical form have always and will continue to possess the adequate demeanor to communicate all that they stand for. It was only the vernacular and vocabulary used to identify these numbers that have fallen woefully short. In other words, until now our verbalization of 11 and 12 (now understood as unoteen and twelveteen) have been at best misleading and at worst disgraceful.

Finally, I realize that the burning question now plaguing your collective minds is will 11 and 12 now have more value than higher numbers, thus requiring them to be moved to a higher quantity representation. In other words should our numerals now be, for example..... 100, 101, 102, unoteen, twelveteen, 103. While this seems like a logical conclusion, given the new found importance and respect that these numbers now garner, the answer is fortunately a resounding NO. While 11 and 12 (hopefully by now you are reading those as unoteen and twelveteen, but if not I'll continue to remind you) deserve repayment for their countless years of misrepresentation, they are still surprisingly humble, and agreed to keep their current quantity-measuring value and place in our numerical order, provided that they receive an official apology from the entire English speaking world and from the other numbers in the teen family. Receiving these apologies will be the starting point for the campaign trail.

So what's the next step? Well this campaign will not come without a price. First I need a group of people willing to jump on board and give their time and energy to seeing this change come about. Do I want you to sign a petition. No? Well I might.....not now though.....but much more....the change will only take place through repetition, education, and intention. First, you can issue your official apology to the numbers 11 and 12 as soon as possible. We must lead by example, and every apology is one step closer to the reconciliation we are hoping for.

I also need you to begin to use the right terminology for 11 and 12 in every day life. How you may ask? Well I am glad that you did in fact ask, so let me give you a few examples.

If you are, for example, measuring a group of people for a superior about how many attended a meeting, you'll want to say "Oh there were probably unoteen to twelveteen people there I suppose." (If there were, in reality 50 people, still you must use the aforementioned numbers....it's part of the price we must pay). If someone asks you what time it is, you should reply either "It is unoteen to twelveteen minutes til insert hour here" or "It is about unoteen to twelveteen minutes since the last time you asked me" or "why don't you spend unoteen or twelveteen dollars and buy a stinking watch and stop asking me what time it is...geez your IQ must be like unoteen or twelveteen." Using these new names twice in a sentence will help to phase in the change, and will also score you extra points! For a final example, perhaps if you get stopped by a police officer who claims you were speeding, you should defend yourself by saying "I thought I could go untoteen to twelveteen miles over the speed limit before I would get a ticket."

Hopefully those examples will help you as join in this campaign. Further information can be found at the website www.whocameupwiththisstupidideaanyway.com.

So join with me, faithful blog readers, to ensure that 11 and 12 get their proper respect! LONG LIVE UNOTEEN AND TWELVETEEN!

4 comments:

You are so right! I remember thinking about this very issue back when I was 6 and learning to count. But it is not until now, way past my unoteenth and twelveteenth birthdays that you bring this problem back to mind.

In this land and time of equality in our nation I can not see how this has gone on so long. I want to thank you, Matt, for leading the charge. And not only you but to the other unoteen readers of this blog who will join with me as a twelveteen member chorus who will stand behind you as you lead us forward in this great cause.

And with the coining of the word "twelveteen" you have single-handedly come up with the band name we're going to use at our next gig. Congrats.

May 5, 2008 at 2:36 PM  

you are an idee-ot

May 5, 2008 at 5:18 PM  

I think you should change it to deuce-teen. Twelveteen is redundant and I think deuceteen sounds better..

May 7, 2008 at 11:53 AM  

Good dispatch and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you on your information.

August 18, 2010 at 4:26 PM  

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