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September 12, 2023

How High Would You Have to Count Before Using the Letter A?

During the COVID-19 pandemic and self-quarantine, many people have been looking for ways to keep themselves entertained and pass the time. One popular way has been trying to solve mind-challenging riddles and puzzles. These have been making the rounds on WhatsApp groups and Social Media as people try to put their minds to work and find solutions.

Among the many questions that people have been asking during this lockdown are how high would you have to count before using the letter a? To answer this question, we must first consider what the number a represents.

The English language has 26 letters and 10 numerals, so we usually spell out numbers using all of the letters in our alphabet. However, there are certain numbers that use only numerals and don't need to be spelled out. These include one, two, three, four, five, and six. In order to understand why these numbers don't need to be spelled, we must examine the number system that these words represent. To do so, imagine someone writing out the numbers from one through 1,000--the word forms, not the actual numbers. After some time, this person might begin to notice the conspicuous absence of one letter--the second most common in our alphabet, no less.