“J’ai pensé des boucles d’oreilles, mais tu as déjà trente-six paires.” (I thought about getting you earrings, but you already have 36 pairs.)
My first thought was, “you counted my earrings?”
Followed swiftly by, “wait… I do not have that many pairs of earrings with me in France.”
He had already moved on from the number of earrings I owned when I interrupted him.
“Quoi trente-six?” (what do you mean 36?) I asked him. “Je n’ai pas trente-six paires des boucles d’oreilles” (I don’t have 36 pairs of earrings).
It turns out he did not mean the number literally. In France, when one wants to say a really, ridiculously large number, one simply says thirty-six.
FBF further explained that the amount of zeros following the 36 is proportional to the likelihood of a truth. He said trente-six pairs of earrings because in reality I have about 10.
But if we’re talking about something that is already in the thousands, one should say 36,000. Trente-six mille.
Which is what explains the DARTY adds.