## Tuesday, June 10, 2008

### Logic Behind The Design Of Digits

Do you ever wonder how the shape of digits were designed? What is logic behind numbers?

The numbers we all use (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.) are known as "arabic" numbers to distinguish them from the "Roman Numerals" (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, etc). Actually the Arabs popularized these numbers but they were originally used by the early phonecian traders to count and keep track of their trading accounts.

Have you ever thought why ........ 1 means "one", and 2 means "two"? The roman numerals are easy to understand but what was the logic behind the phonecian numbers?

It's the number of angles. If one writes the numbers down (see below) on a piece of paper in their older forms, one quickly sees why. Angle are marked with "o"s.

No 1 has one angle.
No 2 has two angles.
No 3 has three angles.
etc.

and "O" has no angles

Amazing isn't it.

After getting so many abuses in comments and double checking on google. I want to add that this might be imaginary stuff (I got this in chain mail and thought it was interesting so I added to my blog). So, please consider it as someone's great imagination with little flaws. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Very interesting information. Why no body taught this in our school

Anonymous said...

Great info!
But is there any other resources about it?
Where did you find this?

Anonymous said...

Interesting concept, but it doesn't wash. Those aren't Phoenician numbers. Also consider, cultures in that part of the world was much more interested in base 6, base 12, base 20 and base 60 mathematics (depending on specific region and culture) than base 10 when writing systems were being developed.

Anonymous said...

Intersting concept except for the bastardized version of the 3, 5, 7, and 9. All of which looks to have had an angle or two added. Kinda like flipping over the Sunday paper to see an answer for the crossword. I guess you could say its not really cheating, but guess what...

Anonymous said...

Interesting.

But also completely untrue.

The numerals you posted aren't even close the way the Arabic number system began and evolved.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_numerals

And it should also be noted that it's obviously untrue for other reasons.

You square (created angles) on every digit except 0. Although supporting your theory, none of the numerals have ever been popularly written like you listed, with the exception being 0, of course.

As posted before, you've added lines that are not part of any popular writing style of these numerals. Although I appreciate your ingenuity in trying to prove this, it's an obvious attempt to mislead.

Anonymous said...

This is how I was taught to add in school....

I was taught the placement of the "dots" where the angles are, then I'd just count up the dots on all the numbers I was adding.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

It was the Indians who invented 0 and the decimal system. The system is also called Hindu Arabic numbers obviously because the Arabs borrowed them from the Indians, not American Indians

Anonymous said...

Why is it that all of the numbers are in block form except for 0?

Anonymous said...

"Why is it that all of the numbers are in block form except for 0? "

---Because 0 don't have any angle

Teresa said...

Lame. Don't believe everything the internets tell you.

Anonymous said...

Well, if all those altercations pass, than 0 should have four angles, being drawn as a rectangle. It's only fair, if it works for 6 and 9, then why not 0?

Anonymous said...

Wait!!!
This is wrong! What's happening with seven? Why does it get 2 angles at the bottom using an imaginary line when four doesn't get one? Nice try. Doesn't work though.

Anonymous said...

I don't get why people are so bent out of shape about it. It's a neat little thing.

By the way...

Wikipedia? Are you being serious? And I'm sure Hitler was 100% correct too.

Anonymous said...

So maybe this isn't completely true. Maybe "the early phonecian traders" did this simlpy to learn the numbers themselves, as it was an adopted system. So they made them square, like shown here, and made this little system. I'm just speculating here.. :)

bark said...

"Why is it that all of the numbers are in block form except for 0? "

"---Because 0 don't have any angle"

you misunderstand ..... why is the zero the only number to have curves in this "font"... because otherwise it wouldn't fit his theory. who has ever put a line across the bottom of a 7 ???? nobody except this person, to make it fit his theory.

Anonymous said...

why on earth would you decide to put an underscore on the seven and not the one?

you pulled this entire article out of your @\$\$, or put more politely... IT STINKS!

Anonymous said...

"--Because 0 don't have any angle"
The guy your replyin' to was talking about consistency. It's not consistent to write all the numbers in block form except for zero.

Also, zero wasn't invented by the Indians! it was the Babylonians!

eydryan said...

7 and 9 look manufactured for the angles...

Anonymous said...

Wow, everyone's treating this post as if this person created this and jumping down their throat. Ever hear of backing off? So what? They had a hunch and they were wrong. Big bloody deal.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with this comment: "why on earth would you decide to put an underscore on the seven and not the one ?" And neither on the four... And what about the scroll added to the nine and not to the five... This is ridiculous...

srini said...

actually it is evloved from
Brahmi numerals

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_numerals

srini

Anonymous said...

Good stuff. I heard about this a long time ago but have never seen it explained in detail.
TOO BAD YOU RUINED IT when you added your disclaimer at the end that discredits everything you just said!!!

dualtoke said...

It's not true at all, who writes numbers in that manner? note 7 3 etc. and it also seems to change style when writing 0 a more circley desing to prove the theory that 0 has no edges,

Dan Dart said...

You've stuck extra bits on the numbers to make them add....

Anonymous said...

yeah nobody today writes numbers like that because we all know the shapes we associate with numbers, but maybe some people did back then, did you live then? no you didn't so shut up it's just something interesting someone thought they'd post geez, unless you're an anthropologist or want to say something interesting shut up cuz no one cares

Brian Benton said...

Actually, I was taught this in college in a number theory course. i'm not saying that everything you learn at school is true, but it was presented to me by a certified professor at an accredited university.

Anonymous said...

"Wikipedia? Are you being serious? And I'm sure Hitler was 100% correct too."

To the above poster; what the hell are you on about? Are you equating Hitler with Wikipedia? Seriously?

Anonymous said...

Way to go, "Michael," if that IS your real name... You just godwinned the thread.

Anonymous said...

What about 11, 12, 13, etc??

Still, it's good idea, shame it doesn't work properly

scikidus said...

1. Michael didn't Godwin the thread, he pointed out the anonymous poster on August 18, 2008 at 4:07PM who Godwinned the thread.

2. To the above post: 11, 12, and 13 are not digits. 0 through 9 are digits.

3. This is absolutely a myth. See here:

4. The Wikipedia article cited several times in the comments is well-cited, so get over yourselves.

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_numerals

also see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_numerals

So this info is clearly a not-well-thought-through BS.

Anonymous said...

explain the number 10

Anonymous said...

Oh jesus christ why is everyone so skeptical? it was only meant to be interesting, not like we're gonna run out and be like OMFG you'll never guess. Calm the hell down and take a chillaxitive everyone!

DarkwingMantis said...

This is how i was taught to add in 1st grade 25 years ago

I have a maths book that my father gave me 20 years ago that teaches this about numbers. It could explain why numbers look like they do and I think its cool. Can anyone explain letters???? Would I be right in saying there are X angles in the letter X?hehe :P

Anonymous said...

I saw these angles when I was in 2nd grade and used them to help with addition instead of counting my fingers. LOL

Anonymous said...

As others have noted, that blocky font does not represent the original form of the numerals. The image containing the numerals was actually one of a set of puzzles that appeared in the GAMES column at the end of an OMNI Magazine -- a sort of "try and spot the pattern" puzzle.

sheridan said...

its stupid that people are refering to wikipedia about this. pretty sure wikipedia is not the most reliable of sources.

-=HaWk=- said...

nyc thing btw.......its very unknown to people...its perhaps illogical, but still is intresting...\m/

Mike said...

Actually this is how I learned to add and subtract in elementary school in the early 80s so there is some validity to it

Melissa said...

So this site is pretty awesome. I have learned tons of random things on this site in just the last 30 minutes. Great info on numbers.

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Anonymous said...

I don't agree.
There is a base line drawn forcefully in number 7 to show seven total angles.
Why leave out number 1 and 4 then.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree.
There is a base line drawn forcefully in number 7 to show seven total angles.
Why leave out number 1 and 4 then.

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It's hard to find experienced people on this subject, but you seem like you know

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