Making Up Numbers: Eleventeen & A-Dollar-Two-Ninety-Eight

There are made up numbers and there are made up numbers.

Sometimes we make up numbers (statistics) to sound good, like Dilbert here.

Fake statistics are often understood as based on actual data. Statistical liars aren’t much into sharing their untruths like Dilbert.

This is bad number making. No fun, pretty evil and there’s not much anyone can do to retaliate.

The other made up numbers…

My grams used to quote the unknown price of an item as “a-dollar-two-ninety-eight.”

It doesn’t give misinformation at all. It’s clear that it means “I don’t know and I’m not sure it matters.”

Apparently other people make up numbers in this way too. There’s a whole list of them on wikipedia!

There’s karma involved.

When I was ten, two of my best friends had their “eleventeenth” birthdays.

Again, not lying at all. They were eleven and I was only ten.

But with this made up number they were able to torment me and our other friend: “We’re teenagers now. We’re eleventeen. And you’re still a baby. You’re only ten.”

One of those friends had a birthday today – making me remember those days of made up numbers.

And inspiring me to make up one of my own: Happy Forty-Old Birthday, Linda!

Okay, for real…

What made up numbers do you know or have you invented? Don’t forget to share on Twitter and Facebook as well as in the comments!


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