Word for Wednesday: Myriad

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Myriad comes from the Greek ‘myrios’ meaning ‘countless, boundless, infinite’.

Interestingly, myriad traditionally refers to the exact number ten thousand and this usage is still used in classical history to denote a unit of ten thousand.

In Ancient Greek the word myriad also was used to express ‘the greatest number’ conceivable. However, the Ancient Greek mathematician, Archimedes used the number ‘myriad myriad’ or ‘MM’ - one hundred million, in a system he invented to count grains of sand.

In modern English, the word myriad is commonly used to describe a very large but unspecified number.

That’s all for this week, and there’s still plenty of time for a myriad of April Fool’s jokes – what are you waiting for?

Hugh MacDermott

01 Apr 2015
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