Roman Numerals
Education did not come easily for me, especially at the beginning. Right when I mainly had grasped basic arithmetic, the teacher introduced something radical, Roman Numerals. What are they? A long time ago, before numerical symbols like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 were invented, the Romans developed an unorthodox method. For example, three capital I’s represented the number 3, III. Unfortunately, numbers quickly became confusing. Four was IV, five was V, and six was VI. Addition and subtraction are required to count? Lame!
My six-year-old brain hurt when the teacher explained Roman Numerals, and I could not determine why we were not using what we already knew 4, 5, 6. The answer is that Roman Numerals are the classic method and uplift a document. Umm, alright. Not a great sell.
Today, we have many ways to represent numbers, including binary (computer gobblygook), hex (more computer gobblygook), text (twenty-six), floating point (complex computer gobblygook), fractions, morse code, color code (electrical engineering gobblygook), maritime flag and even imaginary (complex math gobblygook). Did you get the joke? Imaginary numbers are complex. Hahaha. Alright, too much math.
Why am I discussing this topic? It is time to retire Roman Numerals because they are no longer helpful, which would be one less thing to cram into our overloaded brains. Do they have a legitimate use? I would argue that Roman Numerals, Egyptian pictographs, Inca rope knot language, smoke signals, and semaphores (railroad flags) have no use because we have developed better methods. Plus, we have thoroughly recorded Roman Numerals history and structure for posterity.
Many carryovers in the English language should also be eliminated, including alternate spellings, disused words, double spaces after the period, double-spaced paragraphs, and old English fonts (fonts that are difficult to read). Plus, there are keyboard keys that never get used, print screen, scroll lock, pause, and insert.
Yeah, I’m dreaming. Roman Numerals will be used daily until our sun becomes warm to the touch. Why? Umm, tradition? That is not a sound reason, but we love traditions. Or perhaps I am an agelast? (A person who never laughs.) (Another word that we should eliminate.)

You’re the best -Bill
May 10, 2023
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