I was sitting in the waiting room of my dentist the other day, flipping through some water(?)-stained issues of Parenting, when a curious series of events played out in my presence.
An adorable little boy with eyes like marbles stumbled in the room ranting about how there were a “bajillion” flies congregating around the corpse of a squirrel in the parking lot. “How precious”, I thought “this young child is experiencing life first hand and is so eloquently describing it”. I thought that was the end of that and continued reading a soporific article on the myths and facts of single parenting.
Then out of some dark corner, hidden by some fake plastic shrub, crept out some old woman who interjected with her two cents. “Bajillion isn’t a real number”. This made the child cry while simultaneously crushing all his dreams and aspirations of becoming an astronaut, I could just read it in his heartbroken bawling.
I just became full of gratitude. Thank you for alerting the child of this, you smug harpy. What did you get out of this? The satisfaction of giving a toddler a shitty math lesson, despite your obvious absence of teaching credentials.
Let’s refute your brilliant observation, which I’m sure you have contemplated to no end.
Numbers are infinite, therefore it is necessary, in naming these numbers, to conceive every possible utterance. So then why would 1 “bajillion” not be a socially acceptable number? 1 bajillion is perfectly acceptable to use as a number to represent a quantity because we know its not within the numbers we usually use, which are conceivable numbers like three or four billion, and therefore must be a astronomical quantity almost synonymous with infinity, as we do not know where on the number line it exactly lies. Scratch that, I found it. It’s exactly halfway between 27 and infinity:
Stick to what you know old lady and not what you think you do.
P.S. Now, to say that “bajillion” is not a real word, is perfectly fine.