Are diacritics NOW irrelevant ? (Re: [INDOLOGY] the koti

Thrasher, Allen athr at LOC.GOV
Wed Dec 1 00:52:26 UTC 2010

Apologies for some omissions in this posting, which I now repost.  - AT

"I very much like Chrisomalis' opening criticism aimed at those who praise
our current internationalized counting system as being in some sense a
pinnacle of achievement.  Chrisomalis argues that it is possible to imagine
other counting systems that would serve us just as well, if not better."

Maybe it is not directly relevant to Indology, but there is a marvellous little book "New numbers; how acceptance of a duodecimal (12) base would simplify mathematics," by F. Emerson Andrews. (New York, 1935, unrevised 2nd ed. 1944), which as I remember from reading it long ago gives a pretty good argument.  Inter alia it points out the conveniences of 12's having 4 factors besides 1 and itself, instead of 10's mere 2 factors. I see just now there is an interesting Wikpedia article "Duodecimal," which I have not yet read carefully, that discusses this, cites Andrews' book, and has links to societies favoring a reform.  Alas, it's rather late in the day for the change.


Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.
Senior Reference Librarian and Team Coordinator
South Asia Team
Asian Division
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-4810
tel. 202-707-3732
fax 202-707-1724
The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Library of Congress.

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