Most of us subscribe to the adage that we need to learn something new each day if life is to be worth living. This is what I've learned in the past 24 hours: The definition of Indefinite Hyperbolic Numerals (IHNs).
From the Improbable Research website:
“Indefinite hyperbolic numerals (IHN) are words that (1) resemble numerals morphologically, and (2) act as numerals morphosyntactically within numeral phrases, yet (3) whose direct numerical referent remains indefinite.”
Elsewhere on the Improbable Research website is a blurb about another paper,
Cross-disciplinary academic progress in vagueness has recently been augmented with a paper from Prof. PhDr. Jarmila Tárnyiková CSc. at Palacký University, in Olomouc, Czech Republic. The professor has authored one of the very few papers to examine and compare English and Czech Non-numerical Vague Quantifiers (also known as Vague Non-numerical Quantifiers – VnQs).
Some examples from the paper :
• Piles of
• Oodles of
• Mountains of
• A Smidgen of
• A Dash of
• A Pinch of
Perhaps I have tumbled down Lewis Carroll's rabbit hole.