Tuesday, November 12, 2013


The time has just passed 14:15:16 on 11/12/13. These three numbers are probably three of the most interesting numbers we have in our numerical series. Eleven  has a really interesting history and basically means one left over after ten in several different ancient languages. One can see the lev - left connection. Similarly twelve also has a similar connection with two and lev being sort of smashed together to make twelve. Then thirteen is the first number to adopt the teen suffix although for some obscure reason it is not threeteen which would make things easier for many to pronounce. Like fiveteen it probably got contracted to make things a little easier to say.

This is all good and well, or well and good, unless you happen to be a person who grew up with a wonderfully logical numbering system like most people who live in Asia where things tend to go ten-one, ten-two, ten-three and so on. How much better it would have been had we had the foresight to change things around a bit to make it easier for our young people learning to count. Oneteen, twoteen, threeteen, fourteen etc would have been so much easier.

Two of these numbers have also been embellished with all sorts of wonderful extras. Twelve even has its own name; dozen, and thirteen is famous for its triskaidekaphobia label. Thirteen is also a baker's dozen, a phrase which has a checkered and often gruesome set of possible origins. 

And remember this date means nothing in the UK where it is written 12 - 11 - 13. Their 11-12-13 will be the upcoming December 11!!!!!!!.

No comments:

Post a Comment