I found this amusing in part because I’m an east coast girl who enjoy the use of “hella-” as a descriptive. For the full article, check out the California Aggie, the excerpt below should give you the gist however:
The Southern versus Northern California slang rivalry may soon be put to rest thanks to the help of UC Davis physics student Austin Sendek.
“Hella,” the popular NorCal slang word meaning “a lot” or “very” is commonly contested among Northern and Southern Californians and until this point has not been associated with any specific measurement.
Now, Sendek hopes to give hella new meaning – representing 10 to the 27th power to be exact.
After joking about “hella volts” in an electric field in an in-class experiment, Sendek created the Facebook group “The Official Petition to Establish ‘Hella-‘ as the SI Prefix for 10^27.” Within one week, group membership grew to over 8,000, with people hailing from all over the United States.
“I made it a group on Facebook as a joke,” Sendek said. “But when a professor from Rhode Island signed the petition I realized that we might actually be on to something.”
Currently, the International System of Units has prefixes up to 10^24, and because the system increases by increments of three, 10^27 is the next in line. Measurements for the universe could be indicated with the prefix at 1.4 hellameters, and the sun’s energy, at 0.3 hellawatts.
“Hella” is typically used by Northern Californians and tends to be unpopular among Southern Californians, creating a colloquial war between the two.