Posted by: jugglinbob | November 25, 2013

If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million time’s

Robbie Williams has just got the number 1 album in the UK.  The 1000th number 1 album in fact, since “records” started in 1956 (with Frank Sinatra’s Songs For Swingin’ Lovers being the first in 1956)

So far, so good.  In fact I’d like to say “Well done sir!”

He’s 5 months and a day older than me, and I have still yet to gain even one number 1 album.  However, his twitter pic to celebrate this offends both my mathematical and my grammatical OCD.


In the above picture he thanks his fans for this honour with the statement:

“OH MY WORD!!!!  SWINGS BOTH WAYS IS MASSIVE!!!  A trillion thank you’s”

And this is the cause of my angst…

I can forgive the multiple exclamation marks; we all do this in texts; and even forgive the feminine letter “i” in “massive” (if your album is titled Swings Both Ways then one can assume that are comfortable in your sexuality),  but it’s the phrase “A trillion thank you’s” that offends me.

Firstly, a trillion (1 000 000 000 000) “thank you’s” is somewhat high.  This means he is thanking everyone on the planet 143 times.  Which is slightly strange as only 109,000 copies were sold, thus giving 9 million 174 thousand and 312 “thank you’s” to each person that actually bought the album.

From my quick practice saying “thank you” this means he needs to spend 500 billion seconds saying those words.  Robbie Williams is only 1.26 billion seconds old, yet in order to say “thank you” one trillion times he would have to have started his thanks 15844 years ago, assuming he doesn’t need to sleep, or indeed take time out to actually make the records.  He has been saying “thank you” since the stone age (the Upper Palaeolithic to be precise)

Ok.   So music guy doesn’t understand big numbers.  Maths is clearly not his subject.  He’s a song writer; music and lyrics are his thing.  Well, apart from the words maybe…

A trillion thank you’s?  “You’s” possessive?  Really?  It is not hard to place an apostrophe correctly!

And, yes.  I’m a pedant.  But the grocer’s apostrophe needs to be culled, without mercy.  It offend’s me, and if I’ve seen this mistake made once; I’ve seen it million’s of time’s…


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