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smart
adj. Said of a program that does the {Right Thing} in a
wide variety of complicated circumstances. There is a difference
between calling... VIEW ENTIRE DEFINITION
View Definition: hexadecimal

hexadecimal n. Base 16. Coined in the early 1960s to replace
earlier `sexadecimal', which was too racy and amusing for stuffy
IBM, and later adopted by the rest of the industry.
Actually, neither term is etymologically pure. If we take `binary'
to be paradigmatic, the most etymologically correct term for
base 10, for example, is `denary', which
comes from `deni' (ten at a time, ten each), a Latin `distributive'
number; the corresponding term for base-16 would be something like
`sendenary'. `Decimal' is from an ordinal number; the
corresponding prefix for 6 would imply something like
`sextidecimal'. The `sexa-' prefix is Latin but incorrect in this
context, and `hexa-' is Greek. The word `octal' is similarly
incorrect; a correct form would be `octaval' (to go with decimal),
or `octonary' (to go with binary). If anyone ever implements a
base-3 computer, computer scientists will be faced with the
unprecedented dilemma of a choice between two *correct* forms;
both `ternary' and `trinary' have a claim to this throne.