python for loop

Lie Lie.1296 at
Fri Apr 3 08:46:57 CEST 2009

On Apr 2, 5:29 pm, Steven D'Aprano
<ste... at> wrote:
> On Wed, 01 Apr 2009 21:58:47 -0700, Lie wrote:
> > On Apr 1, 7:06 pm, Steven D'Aprano
> > <ste... at> wrote:
> >> There is a major clash between the names of ordinals in human languages
> >> and zero-based counting. In human languages, the Nth-ordinal item comes
> >> in position N. You can keep that useful convention with zero-based
> >> counting by inventing the ugly word "zeroth", but that just leads to
> >> bizarro-talk like "the zeroeth item comes first, the first item comes
> >> second, and so on".
> > No, there won't be any bizarro-talk. There is no argument: the zeroeth
> > item comes zeroeth, the first item comes first, and so on. The index for
> > the very zeroeth thing in a list is 0, so to get the zeroeth item you
> > use s[0]. While to get the first item you use s[1]. It's very intuitive,
> > isn't it?
> No, because "first", "second", "third" etc. have existed in the English
> language for hundreds of years and everybody knows them. "Zeroeth" was
> probably invented a few decades ago, and is known by maybe 1% of the
> English-speaking population.
> Given the list [a, b, c], if you ask even a C programmer *in English*
> "what's the first item?", they will almost invariably answer a rather
> than b.
> --
> Steven

"One friend of mine half-seriously advanced the following thesis: We
should count from zero. But "first" is, etymologically, a diminution
of "foremost", and (as TomStambaugh says) should mean "0th" when we
count from 0. And "second" is from the Latin "secundus", meaning
"following", so it should mean "1th" when we count from 0. Obviously
the ordinals from "third" onwards get their names from the numbers.
So... we need a new word for "2th". He proposed "twifth". Thus: first,
second, twifth, third, fourth, ..."
--  GarethMcCaughan  (from

No zeroeth, "twifth"

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