We are writing them the wrong way round. In some languages like Dutch, they don’t even say the numbers in the right order.

Take 69 for example. It’s obvious that you want to begin with the first number. so you say sixty and then nine, “sixty nine”.

In the Dutch language, and I’m sure in other languages, they say, nine and sixty (negen en zestig).

If we take a larger number, like 1337, in english you just read it as you look at the numbers, one-thousand three hundred and thirty seven.

The Dutch say it, one thousand three hundred seven and thirty.

I cannot understand why.

]]>I still think you should read Outliers, if only to read why most Chinese children excel at mathematics.

]]>We have calculators though, so arithmetic isn’t all that important any more.

]]>