Talk:Numerical digit

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The "in computer science" section could use a few links to non-standard representations (like, BCD or 7-segments). -- Jokes Free4Me 17:29, 3 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why does it say Arabic numberals?[edit]

Why does the picture on the right say Arabic numerals, when Arabic numerals came from the Hindu system? I mean when you click that link it says how it came from the Hindu system them. So why does this link say Algebraic? I mean why Algebraic? Cus that leads the person to maybe think that this came from Arabic. But it actually came from Hindus then, and then to Arabic right then? Well I think it say's something like that when you click the link itself which I think is under the picture then . (talk) 22:40, 14 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Indians did not use these numerals (shapes for the digits). The system which we use digits to do arithmetic is the Hindu-Arabic numeral system, but the digits themselves are from Western Arabic sources and are called Arabic numerals. I don't know why your talking about Algebraic, that has nothing to do with this. Cheers, — sligocki (talk) 15:55, 15 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Alternative bases[edit]

There is a section about computer bases and balanced tertiary, so why not the main alternative base dozenal? Or the Tonal system? Both of these feature different extensions to the standard Western Arabic digits.

On a different point, also nothing is said about the larger bases like 60. In these, it is worth noting that a digit is made up of two characters, i.e. in 36:3060 = 2190, the digits are "37" and "30". (talk) 19:09, 29 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I have no deeper knowlidge of the history of the ten digits. In (swedish) school we were teached that the digits were arabic. But far later a friend from Iran told me that the origin of the digits was persian, and somtimes called "arabic digits" in the west only due to the fact that europeans got them from the arabs. But even later I heard a professor (or alike) in television arguing that the ten digits originally came from India and sanskrit. Boeing720 (talk) 15:45, 31 March 2012 (UTC) what number system we use is indo-Arabic number system went from india to arab and from there to the west. This is a distorted history that the number system we use is Arabic numerals. How can there be a number system without zero. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:06, 8 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Roman numerals under "Numerals in most popular systems"[edit]

This figure of "A" for 5000 does not come when searching generally. The wikipedia on roman numerals puts "V" with a bar aove it as a way of denoting 5000. I also have a problem with Roman numerals being listed in the table of base ten systems which have discrete figures for different numbers. The difference is that if you want to write the date 1920 in arabic figures or tamil etc... you just string those figures together (for the sake of argument let's ignore different calendars). With Roman numerals 1620 is not IVIII[zero], it is MCMXX. I am proposing that it is simply included below the table but not in it (as it already is) but with the "I" and "V" added and the "A" removed. Other numeral systems similar Roman numerals (the Chinese and Ge'ez) should be afforded the same treatment. One further note is that the "additional numerals" should be in a table. (talk) 20:47, 2 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have put the additional numerals in a table. I have left the chinese, Ge'ez and Roman in the popular systems table because it is not fitting to only have them in the "additional numerals" section. There is a disparity with having the full roman system in the additional table, while only larger abbreviation of the chinese system are there. I cannot currently think of a way around this, besides listing all numerals in one table. Of course, most numeral systems don't have a symbol for 10^12 but are happy to keep adding zeros or to use SI, so it would mean many blank boxes. Also, there needs to be some table editing to make the columns of uniform width, but i don't know how to do that. (talk) 21:15, 2 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sourcing concerns[edit]

I'm working on improving the referencing of this article but it's a struggle.

A big chunk of material was added in this edit. that roughly doubled the size of the article and brought in a lot of unsourced material. The edit summary says it came from Numeral (linguistics), so I checked that article to see if some of the material was still there and referenced, but as the edit says it was a marriage not a copy, so it is no longer there. I tried (albeit not very hard) to Dan who added the information in case they might shed some light on sources. I will add a ping to the editor who did the merge: @Kwamikagami: in case they can shed any light on sources.

Short of that, I plan to continue looking for some sources but if I do not find a source, I'm planning on making a list of sentences that are unsourced and remove them if the source cannot be found.

I hope others will join me in looking for sourcing.--S Philbrick(Talk) 13:14, 23 July 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I moved that stuff over here wholesale when I moved the article from 'number names' to 'numeral'. Here is the set of changes I made at that time. I doubt you'll find any sources in there, but maybe I overlooked something. — kwami (talk) 22:19, 23 July 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Edit explanation[edit]

I removed the phrase "though quite difficult to add."

I found more than one source supporting the claim that an advantage of modular arithmetic is that it is easy to multiply, but each source also said that addition was easy. I didn't find any sources claiming that addition is difficult.--S Philbrick(Talk) 15:24, 23 July 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The article did say (with a request for a citation): In particular, zero was correctly described by Chinese mathematicians around 932.

However, while searching for support for this claim I came across an entry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica which says: zero (used as an actual number instead of denoting a missing number) and the negative numbers were first used in India, as far as is known, by Brahmagupta in the 7th century CE

My intended replacement sentence is:

Zero was first used in India in the 7th century CE by Brahmagupta--S Philbrick(Talk) 16:08, 23 July 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A notation indicating the value of zero is an independent invention of a digit that represents a position in a multi-digit number that multiplies that position's value by zero. The first was done much earlier and by many civilizations, since any kind of record keeping will quickly run into the need to record "there are none of these items" in a way to distinguish that from "I have not counted the items yet". The zero digit is the necessary invention to allow positional notation (as without it you must use different symbols for each position so you can tell which is missing), and was invented in India around the dates you are stating. For this article the zero digit is important, but you must avoid confusion with zero-as-value. Almost all references are talking about the zero digit, the zero value was likely developed thousands of years BC at the same moment the idea of writing a number down was invented.Spitzak (talk) 18:06, 23 July 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't fully understand what Spitzak is saying. But the text should definitely say, "zero as a number was first used in India... ". As far as I know, Brahmagupta was the first one to treat zero like every other number, and define (or attempt to define) arithmetic operations on it. (I say "attempt" to define, because he did it for division as well!) Please watch out for POV-pushers that say Aryabhata did it earlier, but it is not true.
As for the Chinese stuff, I have seen the sources and they are wishy-washy. There is indeed a manuscript that seems to define arithmetic with zero, but its dating is quite speculative. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 20:51, 23 July 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Planned edit[edit]

I know this is being picky but the second paragraph of this article currently says:

whereas the binary system (base 2) has two digits (e.g.: 0 and 1).

There are binary systems other than the one with a zero and one, but that one is ubiquitous enough that referring to it as the binary system makes sense. However "e.g." would make sense if we were talking about "a binary system" and wanted to give a particular example, but if we are talking about "the binary system" then we should say (i.e.: 0 and 1)

I plan to make the change but I'm gonna leave this for little while in case someone has a different opinion.--S Philbrick(Talk) 16:59, 23 July 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Errors in bit about Roman numerals[edit]

The wrong part: ‘The Roman empire used tallies written on wax, papyrus and stone, and roughly followed the Greek custom of assigning letters to various numbers.’

This says a) that they got their numerals directly from the Greeks, even though they got them from the Etruscans, and b) in combination with the previous paragraph that the Roman system was like the late Greek pseudo-decimal system, even though it resembled the Attic system more.

The source cited is also not a particularly good source for this kind of thing. If this is the principal source consulted for that part of the text, that makes me worry for quality of the article as a whole. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:42, 21 November 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


علاوي (talk) 06:12, 8 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]