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Numbers: Why are they written 1,2,3...?
When we were in school we learned to recite our numbers: "1,2,3...." Then we learned to write them down, and finally we learned to spell them. We also learned Roman numerals.
The question is: Why do the numbers look as they do? Watch this demonstation and you'll learn how the Arabic numbers were created. What is the logic behind the shapes? There must be a good reason a 2 looks like a 2, right? Well, it's simple and creative. And logical too. The numbers have lasted as they are, for the most part, for thousands of years.
Living in 2 countries, I've always had problems with the 1 and 7. You know that in Spain there is a line through the middle of the 7. That's the way the Arabic 7 was originally written. In the US our 7 looks like your 1. I had a big problem with my bank recently because I filled out a transfer form with the 7 written without the cross through it, and the teller typed in a 1 in place of the 7. We didn't discover the problem until he tried to send the transfer for the 3rd time, each time saying that the account didn't exist!