Just now, I heard our dog scrabbling around in the next room. I went in to find him with his snout reaching for some papers I had left on the table (his self-appointed mission seems to be to chomp every piece of paper -- and every pen -- in the world: he's clearly taking his inability to read very hard. Either that or, given that he was trying to eat a receipt, he's in the employ of the tax authorities*).
As I ejected him from the room I said 'I want you both to leave that receipt where it is and to get out of this room at once!'. In saying this, it occurred to me how odd the word 'both' is: why do we have this word that captures 'two-ness' but no equivalent words for other numbers? I guess we can say 'just' and 'only' when we're talking about one thing:
I want you just to leave this room
but what about when there are three things? Surely there should be a word like 'thrith'?
I want you thrith to drop that paper, get out of this room, and go to your bed!
And so on, with numbers for four, five, etc. So what's the deal, philologists? Why the hell is there this huge gap in our language? What are you doing when you should be sorting this stuff out?
* IT WOULD NOT SURPRISE ME IF ALL PETS WORKED FOR THE TAX AUTHORITIES, DESTROYING OUR RECEIPTS SO WE HAVE TO PAY MORE TAX