Numbers are everywhere, photo by author
Numbers are everywhere, photo by author, Albuquerque, NM


Nearly everyone knows that western math is based on nine digits and a zero, but if you refer to this system as Arabic numerals most ¬†people will experience a disconnect. Here is an example from the Dan Brown bestseller, “The Lost Symbol”


a passage from “The Lost Symbol” ¬†by Dan Brown

“The first is a Roman numeral,” Anderson said.

“I’m not sure. It looks like eighty-five in Arabic numbers.” (Said Professor Robert Langdon)

“Arabic?” Anderson asked. “They looked like normal numbers.”

“Our normal numbers are Arabic,” replied Langdon.