("Using Arabic numerals to remember numbers is like using a fork to eat soup –
most of it gets away")




















































The ten pseudonumerals (S, T, N, M, R, L, J, K, F, P) are ideal symbols for numbers. They can be used in mathematics just like Arabic numerals, but can also make numbers fun to use and easy to remember. We should teach them in schools, just like we teach Roman numerals.
If we use Roman numerals, we can count, but not add or subtract, mulitply or divide.
Try to add 147 + 639 + 258 using Roman numerals:
(that's CXLVII + DCXXXIX + CCLVIII)
CXLVII
DCXXXIX
+ CCLVIII
????????
Even with their difficult numerals, the Romans were great builders – of roads, bridges, aqueducts and amphitheaters. They surely couldn't imagine adding or subtracting numbers as symbols. Anyway, they didn't need to – they could always add numbers using an abacus.
Today we use Arabic numerals and can add and subtract, multiply
and divide.
See how easy it is to add 147 + 639 + 258 using Arabic numerals:
1 2
147
639
+ 258
1044
But numbers like 147, 639, 258, 1044 are really boring. We can't imagine enjoying longdigit numbers or bothering to remember them. Anyway, we don't need to – we can always remember numbers using an "electronic abacus" (a PDA, Palm Pilot, etc.).
If we were to use pseudonumerals as symbols, we could add
and subract, multiply and divide, just like with Arabic numerals.
Try to add 147 + 639 + 258 using pseudonumerals:
(That's TRK + JMP + NLF)
T N
TRK
JMP
+ NLF
TSRR
This is really just the same as with Arabic numerals.
But TRK is much more interesting than 147, because TRK could be a
TuRKey or a TRucK or a TRacK.
JMP could be JuMP or a CHiMP or SHaMPoo.
NLF could be NewLiFe or NoLoVe or iNLoVe.
TSRR could be TeaSeawoRrieR or
DouSeawaRrior or DouSeaReaR.
There are lot's of ways to think about these numbers! You could even
enjoy the thought of a turkey and a chimp in love, teasing a worried parent.
Just like Arabic numerals made it possible to manipulate numbers mathematically,
pseudonumerals make it possible to enjoy and remember them.
Pseudonumerals may some day replace Arabic numerals. But don't wait for that day (or century) to come. You can try them now. Take one of your numbers and write it as pseudonumerals, and then see what pseudonumes you can make for it.