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Shortest Long Number (Posted on 2004-04-15) Difficulty: 3 of 5
What is the smallest positive integer that cannot be defined in less than twenty-five syllables?

See The Solution Submitted by Sam    
Rating: 3.0833 (12 votes)

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Some Thoughts re: smartalecking the solution (Spoiler) Comment 49 of 49 |
(In reply to smartalecking the solution by Adam)

By definition, zero is not positive.  A positive number is defined as a number greater than zero.

I will offer an argument to the solution's comment that "The smallest integer not specifiable in less than two syllables" quite unambiguously defines seven.  The number seven can itself be specified with less than two syllables. Cited from Michael David Coogan, Stories from Ancient Canaan, "The synonym for any number (x) is the next higher number (x+1)" we can see that seven can be specified with the word "eight", which is one syllable. . 

The question arises, to which I believe was not answered clearly in the solution, is "the smallest positive integer not specifiable in less than twenty-five syllables" a specification?  The answer given in the solution contradicts this. 

If not for this problem being classified as a Paradox, Penny's initial interpretation would be the correct one (though I can not difinitively say the solution given by Penny is the correct answer).  I see no real paradox here in this problem, only ambiguity.


  Posted by Dej Mar on 2006-07-08 04:22:02
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