Re: dozenal and hexadecimal digits

From: Antoine Leca (
Date: Tue May 16 2000 - 05:23:02 EDT

Christopher John Fynn wrote:
> Michael Everson <> wrote:
> ...
> >>Out of curiosity, may I ask you what duodecimal numbers are used for?
> >Duodecimal math. Elves used it. But they have their own digits. See
> >
> Does this mean that elves had six digits on each hand?

I remember reading (G. Ifrah's ?) two possible explanations for counting
in base 12 with digits: it involves either giving different meaning
to "no digits shown" from "the hand is not shown" (1), or using the
fist as a base and counting the raises (sorry, I do not know the words
in English to explain well): between index and thumb, there is a raise
that can be used (this can be expanded until base 60 using the digits

Method (1) is:
  hand not shown: 0
  hand shown, 1 digit: 1
  hand shown, 2 digits: 2, etc.
  hand shown, all digits: 5
  fist shown: 6


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:21:02 EDT