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Re: Digression: little/big endian numbers LTR/RTL

From: Simon Montagu <smontagu@smontagu.org>
Date: Fri, 02 May 2008 10:14:53 +0300
Message-ID: <481ABF6D.5040807@smontagu.org>
To: John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>
Cc: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hpl.hp.com>, Frank Ellermann <hmdmhdfmhdjmzdtjmzdtzktdkztdjz@gmail.com>, www-international@w3.org

John Cowan wrote:

> Jeremy Carroll scripsit:
> I think your historical explanation is correct except for:
>> This resulted in changes such that the phrase "four and twenty" is
>> now archaic, because of the least significant digit first construction.
> Doubtful, because only the last two digits were ever reversed
> ("one hundred and four-and-twenty" for 124) and because not all
> European languages were affected ("ein hundert fier-und-zwanzig").

Note also that Biblical Hebrew uses both most-significant-first and 
least-significant first forms:

Genesis 23:1 -- "And the life of Sarah was a hundred and seven and 
twenty years"
Ester 1:1 -- "Ahasuerus who reigned from India to Ethopia: seven and 
twenty and a hundred provinces"

On the other hand, even in non-bidirectional languages, reading order 
doesn't necessarily correspond exactly to writing order: we write $25, 
but say "twenty-five dollars"
Received on Friday, 2 May 2008 07:15:47 UTC

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