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Quote:

Our crazy old currency, complete with farthings, happennies, pennies, tuppences, threpenny bits, tanners, shillings or bobs, two-bobs, half-a-crown, crown, pound, and guinea was generally known as the duodecimal system ~ but only once we had started discussing then implementing the alternative





I remember the changeover (and even the date, Feb 15th 1971). My sister and I had a game called "decimal snap". It was just the card game Snap, but you were allowed to call "Snap!" if you put down (for instance) 1 new penny, followed by 2.4 old pennies (as they were equivalent). Highly educational.

Getting back to the topic of words, the system was sometimes referred to as LSD which is an abbreviation for Libri, Solidi, and Denari (latin) I think (from memory). I assume the old pence symbol "d" was because of this, and the pound symbol is a stylised L. I look forward to being corrected if I'm wrong!

One of the claimed advantages of the LSD system was that 240d in the pound had many integer divisors: 2,3,4,6,8,10,12,20, 30... So much more flexible than the decimal system :-) Of course, as someone says below, calcuting 10% of some arbitrary sum was tricky.

Alan


-- Alan Fitch
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Quote:

> It really is just that the decimal system is what you are used to.

yeahright. So what's 17 and a half percent of 15 guineas 18 shillings and sevenpence three-farthings?




And people who used this monetary system once had a globe-girdling empire? Just think what you mighta been able to do if you had had a decimal monetary system and hadn't been wasting a third of your GDP doing really ugly arithmetic. That's the real reason the colonies borke away, innit? c'mon, 'fess up. Well that and the terrible habit of putting udder drippings into your tea.


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And people who used this monetary system once had a globe-girdling empire? Just think what you mighta been able to do if you had had a decimal monetary system and hadn't been wasting a third of your GDP doing really ugly arithmetic. That's the real reason the colonies borke away, innit? c'mon, 'fess up. Well that and the terrible habit of putting udder drippings into your tea.

Pistols at dawn, TEd. Name your second.

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Today's word is nifty because it can be divided by 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6

But I like 36 because you can divide it by 1,2,3,4,6,9,12,18. However, imagine the size of the multiplication table

http://www.wordwizard.com/ch_forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=17971&SearchTerms=36

However, one very neat advantage of the HEXATRIGESIMAL system is that it uses all the digits and all the letters of the alphabet: 0, 1, 2, 3, ....9, A, B, C,...Y, Z, 10

Where "10" reps 36


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Quote:

> It really is just that the decimal system is what you are used to.

yeahright. So what's 17 and a half percent of 15 guineas 18 shillings and sevenpence three-farthings?




The problem with that monetary system is not that it wsn't base ten; it's that it wasn't base anything consistent.

Four farthings to the penny.
Twelve pence to the shilling.
Twenty shillings to the pound.

And that's not even counting things like crowns (five shillings) or guineas (one pound and one shilling). If you'd had thirteen pence to the shilling and thirteen shillings to the pound and scrapped those silly crowns and guineas and learned your times tables in base thirteen you'd shake your head in wonder at how anyone could work in something as silly as base ten.

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you've put your foot on it, and I think we're inching towards understanding.


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> your times tables in base thirteen you'd shake your head in wonder at how anyone could work in something as silly as base ten.

yeahright and had to take your socks off to count when in your formative years!

Alan, forgive these rude buggers - a warm welcome, especially as you may help to redress the cross-pond perspective! Yes, you're right of course - in daily use it was called "the LSD sytem".

#157147 03/14/06 01:01 AM
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Regarding the difficulties of calculating percentages in non-base-ten systems - don't forget the bias implied in the name. Percent = per centum = per 100 ==> base ten is presupposed. In a base-12 world if you made it "per 144," it would still be written as one-zero-zero and the computations would be just as easy. Likewise the shifting of a (duo)decimal point would be just as easy and other shortcuts in arithmetic probably even easier, because of the multiple factors of the base.

As [whoever-it-was] said above, whatever you're used to is what's easiest and "natural."

#157148 03/14/06 01:44 PM
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From today's Word:
The first portion of the small intestine (so called because
its length is approximately twelve-finger breadth).
It IS! I tried looking it up yesterday, but could not find why it is called that.

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dalehileman
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