If we were talking about some widget at location n-1, would this be the n-1st widget
or the
n-1th widget
?
The former implies that the text is read "n minus first widget". The latter implies that the text is read "n minus oneth widget".

Also the former sounds better, the second strikes me as more accurate.

Your thoughts?
Joseph
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Joseph Turian turpitued:
If we were talking about some widget at location n-1, would this be the n-1st widget or the n-1th widget ... the text is read "n minus oneth widget". Also the former sounds better, the second strikes me as more accurate.

It's a question of personal taste, but I'd always say "n minus oneth". I'd also use parentheses in writing it: (n-1)th.
Indeed, those two observations are related. The other way of saying it sounds to me as if it should mean "n-(first)".

Peter Moylan peter at ee dot newcastle dot edu dot au http://eepjm.newcastle.edu.au (OS/2 and eCS information and software)
If we were talking about some widget at location n-1, would this be the n-1st widget or the n-1th widget ... read "n minus oneth widget". Also the former sounds better, the second strikes me as more accurate. Your thoughts? Joseph

At first I thought you were talking about coordinates. Apparently you're talking algebra? Could you not just say "widget n minus one", "the widget at n minus one", or "the n minus one widget?" I think "n minus wunth" sounds terrible, as does "n minus thirty-thirdth." "n minus forty-fifthth" is positively lisping.
Mike G.
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If we were talking about some widget at location n-1, would this be the n-1st widget or the n-1th widget ... the text is read "n minus oneth widget". Also the former sounds better, the second strikes me as more accurate.

"Penultimate"
Don
Kansas City
If we were talking about some widget at location n-1, ... former sounds better, the second strikes me as more accurate.

"Penultimate"

For the moment...

dg (domain=ccwebster)
If we were talking about some widget at location n-1, ... better, the second strikes me as moreaccurate. Your thoughts? Joseph

At first I thought you were talking about coordinates. Apparentlyyou're talking algebra? Could you not just say "widget n minus ... n minus one widget?" I think "n minuswunth" sounds terrible, as does "n minus thirty-thirdth." "n minusforty-fifthth" is positively lisping.

I'd say in the mathematical treament of widgets there's a need for the term itself, that a writearound such as you suggest would come to seem awkward with repeated use. I prefer 'n minus oneth' for the same reason I prefer 'nth' - i.e., it is really (n-minus-one)th. Also, those other examples would be 'n minus thirty-threeth' (=(n-minus-thirty-three)th) and 'n minus forty-fiveth' (=(n minus forty-five)th)..g
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At first I thought you were talking about coordinates. Apparentlyyou're talking algebra? Could you not just say "widget n minus ... n minus one widget?" I think "n minuswunth" sounds terrible, as does "n minus thirty-thirdth." "n minusforty-fifthth" is positively lisping.

I agree, I read it again and simply cannot stand it. So I figured out how to simplify the notation.
(NB foo means italics.)
Original:
A span is a range over (contiguous) words in the input sentence. A span from the a th word through the b th word can be given as a pair (a, b+1) , where a
Revised:
A span is a range over (contiguous) words in the input sentence. A span from word a through word b can be given as pair (a, b) , where a <= b .
(screw the convention in the literature.)
JOSEPH
Yesterday, Joseph Turian (Email Removed) gosled:
If we were talking about some widget at location n-1, would this be the n-1st widget or the n-1th widget ? The former implies that the text is read "n minus first widget". The latter implies that the text is read "n minus oneth widget".

Although the second seems more correct to me, I can report that I've heard(1) the first more often from mathematicians.

And I do so hereby.
(1) Note "heard". I'm not sure which I've seen more in print, or even on blackboards.
Michael Hamm
AM, Math, Wash. U. St. Louis
(Email Removed) Fine print:
http://math.wustl.edu/~msh210/ ... legal.html
If we were talking about some widget at location n-1, would this bethe n-1st widget or the n-1th widget ? ... is read "n minus oneth widget". Also the former sounds better, the second strikes me as moreaccurate. Your thoughts? Joseph

This is a tricky one. I think that I would normally use the latter but it is hard to say it without deliberate thought. I cannot say which I hear most often, a mixture anyway.
A couple of points.
Several posters seem to think that the latter is more correct but what if n is 20, 30 etc? I mean, consider the ordinal for 21, it is twenty-first and not twenty-oneth. Also thirty-first, hundred-and-first etc. So maybe the former form is more correct (if that means anything).
On the case of n-33 and other large numbers, I think that it is pretty much irrelevant. It would be very rare to want to talk about the (n-33)rd. n - 1 and n + 1 are common, 2 and 3 are less common and larger numbers even less common. I would not worry about them.

I would say, pick the one that you think sounds best. If possible be consistent. =20

Se=E1n O'Leathl=F3bhair
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