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Eleventeen is a number, or would be a number if it existed. Its true name is 23, or would be if it had a true name. 23 exists, however, whereas eleventeen does not. As you know, children, everything that is not explicitly allowed is forbidden, and nowhere in the sacred book of rules does it say that eleventeen exists. I should not be telling you about it now. You did ask, however, and to refuse to answer a question is not explicitly allowed either, so we must not refuse, for fear of becoming – now then, we don't talk about that; it is not for your delicate ears.
edit Origins of eleventeen
Before we tell you the origins of eleventeen, you must keep in mind that it does not exist, and therefore it did not originate from anywhere. I am simply explaining what its origin would be if it did exist, rather like those stories you sometimes hear of a moon made of green cheese. But you are getting impatient – very well then.
Eleventeen is a relic of a time when we used a different number base. A number base...well see, we use base 10, and that's why there are 10 digits and why multiples of 10 are 'round' numbers. But once upon a time, we used base 13. There were two numbers whose names nobody knows that came between nine and ten; eleven was written as 10; and the numbers tenteen and eleventeen came between nineteen and twenty. 13 is an unlucky number, however, as you all know, so it brought bad luck and we had to give it up. Specifically, a few were benefitting at the expense of the many, and the many realised that something had to be done, so they rose up and created the wonderful world we live in today; and one of the things they did was to throw away unlucky base 13 and replace it with base 10.
edit Eleventeen today
We don't use eleventeen today, of course. After the tyranny of base 13 was overthrown and the people were saved, it and the evil numbers that came from it were banned so that they would not rise up again and divide us. The pink people of the far north still use eleventeen and base 13, though, which is why they have been so unlucky as to become
dominated by our country stupid and unfit to govern themselves, so we snitched away their culture took them under our wing and now we are teaching them to be good, wholesome, lucky purple people.
edit Can we use eleventeen? It sounds fun and interest-
Certainly not! It does not exist, and using nonexistent things is forbidden because it makes no sense. Things that make no sense cannot be understood by all and would divide us into me and I and other such awful things with the effort of trying to understand.
Remember – numbers are useless; there is no need to count in the real world, and the real world is the only world there is. Instead you should spend your valuable time and energy learning real and useful skills, such as sweeping the streets and studying the Bible. These are the things of which successful careers are made. Learning the intricacies of counting is not something the common people need to know, and it can only benefit the few, not the many. Do what is good for all, and put eleventeen out of your mind for ever. In fact, even as we type this, we see that the spell checker does not recognise it as a word – because it is not a word, it does not exist, you will forget it. You have already forgotten it. What are you looking at now? Run along, you look quite silly.