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Why do French speakers say the equivalent of 'sixty-and-ten' for the number seventy?

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The French people used to use two numbering systems: one decimal (based on 10, as in English) and one based on 20 (a numbering system based on 20s is called "vigesimal"). English has the word "score" to represent 20 years--remember the Gettysburg address: "Four score and 7 years ago...", meaning 87 years.

At one point, based on studies of popular writing and usage, they changed to using the decimal system up to the number 60, and kept the vegesimal system above 60).

Obviously, this is the way the French learn the numbers, so it does not seem strange to them. And in French-speaking parts of Belgium and Switzerland, they use septante, octante/huitante, and nonante, for 70, 80 and 90 because those languages developed outside the control of the French Academy, which is the official authority on the French language in France.


English has quirks like this too. We have "unique" words for eleven and twelve, but 13-19 are basically "three-ten, four-ten, five-ten, etc. Why don't we say "oneteen and twoteen"?
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