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The Atlantic Monthly

Volume 5, No. 28, February, 1860

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Author: Various Authors
Published: 1860
Language: English
Wordcount: 86,628 / 252 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 41.9
LoC Category: AP
Downloads: 704
Added to site: 2006.12.03
mnybks.net#: 15456
Genre: Periodical
Excerpt

s absurd, and its realization as impossible; yet the probability is, it will be done. The question is one of time rather than of fact, and there is plenty of time. The diffusion of education will ultimately cause it to be demanded. A change of notation is not an impossible thing. The Greeks changed theirs, first for the alphabetic, and afterwards, with the rest of the civilized world, for the Arabic,--both greater changes than that now proposed. A change of numeration is truly a more serious matter, yet the difficulty may not be as great as our apprehensions paint it. Its inauguration must not be compared with that of French gradation, which, though theoretically perfect, is practically absurd.

Decimal numeration grew out of the fact that each person has ten fingers and thumbs, without reference to science, art, or commerce. Ultimately scientific men discovered that it was not the best for certain purposes, consequently that a change might be desirable; but as they were not disposed to accommodate them

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