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  #1  
Old 07 August 2009, 06:51 PM
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Teacher The Logic Behind Numbers

Comment: I know this must be untrue, but I can't find anything to prove it:

The number system what we use today (1,2,3,4,5…) is called Arabic Numbers System. We also have Roman Numbers System (I, II, III, IV, V, …) which is rarely being used. Have you ever thought WHY One is 1, Two is 2, Three is 3 … and so on? It is all because of Angles. Yes, it is the number of angles in each letter. The following image has ancient Arabic numbers. All the angles that are formed in these letters are mentioned by the letter 0.



The number of angles gives meaning to each letters.

Number 1 has one angle
Number 2 has two angles
Number 3 has three angles
and so on.

Observe the letter Zero. It has no angles.

Interesting. Isn’t?
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  #2  
Old 07 August 2009, 06:54 PM
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0 would have four angles if it was done in a style remotely similar to the other ones.
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  #3  
Old 07 August 2009, 06:56 PM
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If they are counting the outside angles on the waist of the 8, then why not count all the other outside angles?
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Old 07 August 2009, 06:58 PM
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And why is 8 all triangle-y? Shouldn't it be boxy? (course, it would still have 8 angles, but still....)

But they're really stretching it with that 9!
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  #5  
Old 07 August 2009, 06:59 PM
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Who the hell puts an extra line at the bottom of 7?

Obviously someone has forced this to be true - there's a lot of ways to write these numbers as straight lines, and some of these (especially 3, 8 and 7) are a bit of a stretch. Not to mention the little tails on 5 and 9 but not on, say, 6.
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  #6  
Old 07 August 2009, 07:03 PM
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Of course, the real test for this suggestion would be to go back to the earliest form of the numerals, from India. The suggestion is at least plausible, although as presented quite strained, as has been pointed out. The further question would be why you needed to have a correspondence like this; it's only ten symbols to remember: that's not too many.

ETA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu%E...numeral_system
The Wikipedia article does not have the original versions of all the numbers, though there is some discussion of their development. According to the article, only 1, 2, and 3 are actually tallies of the amounts represented, and after that purely symbolic characters are used. It is clear from the various forms that developed from the original Hindu numerals that the Western Arabic variant, as used in Europe, N. America, etc. is a very highly stylized deviation from the others, and given that the other versions are much more similar to each other than to the form we used, then it is highly likely that they have little to do with the yet-earlier predecessors. On the other hand, the Arabic-Indic and the Eastern Arabic-Indic, while they resemble each other closely (probably due to the unifying influence of Islam and the caliphates), don't have all that much more resemblance to the Hindis' Devanagari system. And you would be hard put to suss out the connections to the Tamil forms if you did not know what numbers they were supposed to be.

Which means: the numerals the hypothesis is based on developed too late for the hypothesis to work on them specifically, but we cannot say for certainty that the most ancient versions do not show the relationship suggested.

Last edited by A Turtle Named Mack; 07 August 2009 at 07:17 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08 August 2009, 08:01 AM
BamaRainbow BamaRainbow is offline
 
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To add to TurtleNamedMack's comment, the Hindu numerals are believed to have developed (at least in part) from the Brahmi numerals.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmi_numeral

These numerals bear little real resemblance to the current system we're familiar with in North America and Europe.
It's possible to use a standard keyboard to approximate most of the Brahmi numerals:

1 - (this should actually be a bit longer)
2 =
3 Ξ
4 +
5 h
6 6 (the real image almost looks like an open-top 4 where the crossbar loops around to the downstroke)
7 7 (more curved like a candy cane)
8 ~
9 ? (not quite as pronounced a curve and without the point but a longer downstroke)

The article notes that the characters for 1, 2 and 3 are essentially the Roman numerals, only drawn horizontally instead of vertically.

As others have noted, though, the way the numbers in the OP are produced is really bizarre. While the 1 and the 7 are produced essentially the same way that Europeans write them, I've never seen a 7 produced with a line at the bottom. (Writing a 5 in block form wouldn't have that little upstroke on the bottom line, and I have NEVER seen a 9 in block form that curlicues like that.)
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  #8  
Old 09 August 2009, 03:29 AM
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God. I remember this one when I was back in high school in the 60s. I think it was actually put forth in some linguistic journal at the time.

The fact that it seems to be going around again as new is evidence that the original hypothesis was discarded. This refers to it as "fanciful." It references this article about the origins.

The hypothesis seems fishy on the face of it.
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  #9  
Old 09 August 2009, 03:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxy Lady View Post
But they're really stretching it with that 9!
And the 5. It just keeps spiralling until "Wheyhey! Prophecy fulfilled".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jahungo View Post
Who the hell puts an extra line at the bottom of 7?
I think its more popular in continental europe. Oh no wait... there's a line at the bottom, not the middle... I have no idea in that case. It would stop looking like a 7 altogether.
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  #10  
Old 13 August 2009, 05:30 AM
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Teacher Number origins

From what I read, early number words are more like attribute words (similiar to words like green or big.) The, ah, sequential nature of numbers wasn't understood until way later in human development. You can practically hear them starting in with "Hey ya know, thirteen fourteen...." So the symbols and words for 1 to 12 are more finger, hand, or shape related if anything. Zero is a way newcomer to mathmatical thought.
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  #11  
Old 13 August 2009, 07:58 AM
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The number 0 was invented by Hindus if my random factoid memory serves me correct... so how can the arabic 0 be a 0 because of its lack of angles? They didn't even have a zero in their number system.
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  #12  
Old 13 August 2009, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lalagrrl84 View Post
The number 0 was invented by Hindus if my random factoid memory serves me correct... so how can the arabic 0 be a 0 because of its lack of angles? They didn't even have a zero in their number system.
IIRC, the modern concept and number for zero is from India. It migrated through the middle east and became "Arabic". From there it migrated to Europe and the rest of the world. The counting system retained the "Arabic" label even though it didn't originate in the middle east.
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  #13  
Old 13 August 2009, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
IIRC, the modern concept and number for zero is from India. It migrated through the middle east and became "Arabic". From there it migrated to Europe and the rest of the world. The counting system retained the "Arabic" label even though it didn't originate in the middle east.
The entire place-based number system appears to have originated in India, although the zero originated somewhat later, probably made necessary by the emply places you would otherwise have in numbers we write with a 0 in them. While the numbering system passed through the Arabic countries, it is a misnomer which does disservice to the ingenuity of the Hindu mathematicians.
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  #14  
Old 14 August 2009, 01:07 AM
BamaRainbow BamaRainbow is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NobodyAtAll View Post
From what I read, early number words are more like attribute words (similiar to words like green or big.) The, ah, sequential nature of numbers wasn't understood until way later in human development. You can practically hear them starting in with "Hey ya know, thirteen fourteen...." So the symbols and words for 1 to 12 are more finger, hand, or shape related if anything. Zero is a way newcomer to mathmatical thought.
Actually, the English words for numbers derive from the Germanic language heritage. AFAIK, all the Germanic languages have specific words for the numbers 1 to 12 before starting a +10 formation. On the other hand, several of the modern Romance languages have somewhat distinctive words for the numbers 13 to 15 or 16:

Spanish: trece, catorce, quince (then dieciséis, diecisiete, dieciocho, diecinueve*)
French: treize, quatorze, quinze, seize (then dix-sept, dix-huit, dix-neuf)
Italian: treze, quatorze, quinze, (then dezesseis, dezesette, dezoito, dezenove)
Catalan: tretze, catorze, quinze, setze (then disset, divuit, dinou)

Both Italian and Romanian** employ a basic +10 system for all the numbers between 10 and 20 (as the word for 11 is roughly said as "one-ten," 12 is "two-ten," etc.). Classical Latin, on the other hand, uses the +10 form for the numbers 11-17 before in reverse for 18 and 19 (literally, those numbers are "2 from 20" and "1 from 20".

*These numbers were also spelled as diez y seis, diez y siete, diez y ocho, diez y nueve, until fairly recently. Currently, the use of y is only common in the forms over 30, as in treinta y uno (31), cuarenta y cinco (45), etc. The 20s are all formed with i, as in veintiuno (21), veinticinco (25), etc.
**Modern Greek uses this same formation.
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  #15  
Old 14 August 2009, 07:32 AM
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That's totally what I meant, BamaRainbow. In whatever language, the logical forms are clearly later add-ons, and the shapes of the first 12 are not related to any angle/shape pattern. This is true even if we go way back to Sumer where they started writing symbols down, and used a base 60 system. There's a really good book called The Universal History of Numbers by Georges Ifrah that is richly illustrated with examples of ancient number systems.

I agree the invaluable zero is Hindu then popularized by Arabic writers (like it is called the Pythagorean theorem because he wrote the book about it.) I think Indo-Arabic is the current name for our numerals. The Europeans were using darn Roman numerals up to the Middle Ages. Now there's a system with a pattern for one, two..
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