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Get it right, Mr Curtis

WE wish to remind John Curtis and other readers who get confused by our numerical system that most of the world uses what are called Arabic numerals.

The Arabic numerals are the ten digits (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). They are descended from the Hindu-Arabic numeral system developed by Indian mathematicians.

The Indian numerals were adopted by the Persian mathematicians in India, and passed on to the Arabs further west. From there they were transmitted to Europe in the Middle Ages.

The use of Arabic numerals spread around the world through European trade, books and colonialism. Today they are the most common symbolic representation of numbers in the world.

Curtis may still be counting using another set of symbols namely, Roman numerals.

Roman numerals are a numeral system of ancient Rome based on letters of the alphabet, which are combined to signify the sum (or in some cases, the difference) of their values. The first ten Roman numerals are:

The Roman numeral system is decimal and does not include a zero.

Roman numerals are commonly used in numbered lists (such as the outline format of an article), clock faces, pages preceding the main body of a book, chord triads in music analysis, dated notices of copyright, months of the year, successive political leaders or children with identical names, and the numbering of annual events.
Indeed the first year AD began on January 1 year zero. Your digital watch presents midnight as 00.00 and an hour later becomes 01.00. — Ed.

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