Arabic numerals were originally designed so number of angles on each symbol equals the number itself.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Math!
I never realized. Mind blown.
I have a new way to write the 7. I already cross it in the middle when I write it but the feet.
I like that too!
Also apparently this is not a fact but a theory that went viral:
glad you changed the stash to math instead of factoids.
If there's one thing that all our letters and numbers have in common, it's that they're relatively simply - just a few strokes to create each one. That's the way you'd want it for an efficient handwriting system. It's really tough to imagine that 9 ever having been commonly used.
I suppose that one reason this e-mail continues to make the rounds is summed up in the second sentence of the first paragraph in that e-mail, "Someone, at some point in time, had to create their shapes and meaning." Many people like to think that something as important as our numerals had to be deliberately invented, that it couldn't have come about by a haphazard process. But, that's the way so many things have been developed, especially in language.