Roman numerals are stupid

You know what’s really, really stupid?

Roman numerals.

Americans have an alphabet . It consists of 26 letters and is derived from the original Latin alphabet. There are other alphabets in the world today, including Cyrillic, Arabic, Greek, and Braille. but here in the United States, we use just one.

We also have a system of numerals. It’s called the decimal numeral system, though the actual figures that represent the numbers are Hindu-Arabic or western Arabic. These are the numbers that children begin learning at an early age in order to understand and practice mathematics.

One set of letters. One set of numbers. As it should be.

Then, at some point in your life, probably in the fourth or fifth grade, a teacher or parent informed you that we also use a Roman numeral system, too, mostly when people want to make something seem more important or more stately than it really is.

  • Labeling Super Bowls and movie sequels

  • Differentiating Kings and Popes

  • Copyright dates on films, television programs, and videos

  • Clocks designed by jackasses

So in the midst of learning to multiply or balance equations with one set of numbers, you’re suddenly asked to learn a new system of numbering that you’ll never actually use in mathematics but will need to decode about twice a year for the rest of your life for reasons that almost never matter.

You may inquire to the benefits of Roman numerals, rightly expecting that there must be some advantage to learning this new system, but you will quickly be told that there are no benefits to this system at all.

Essentially they just look pretty. So learn them. You will rarely need them, but every now and again, it will be good to know how to decode them.

All of which makes Roman numerals so very, very stupid.

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