kaitou: (monkeys)
Last Friday my coworkers and I were talking about stupid trivia and that sort of thing. I mentioned how much I love random facts, and one of my coworkers said. "Ok, well let's see if you know this. I've been wondering for awhile. Why do we use IV and IX instead of IIII and VIIII? Is there, like, a rule that says that you can only have three Is in a row or something?"

Well, I didn't know the answer to that. But I thought, surely google knows. I may not be as good at google fu as my mom, but I'm no slouch. But instead of answers I only came up with more questions. I even went to metafilter to ask, but that didn't go very well. In fact, I think if it hadn't fallen off the front page (and therefore everyone's radar) I could have ended up on OTF wank as people argued about whether Hindu-Arabic numbers are superior to Roman numerals, or whether they're all just symbolic representations of concepts and none are easier to use than another.

Anyway, I thought I'd post my meandering results and questions here. You guys are all smart people, and maybe you know, or have a good theory. )

It's all very much like this, played out in real life.

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kaitou

March 2012

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