A few weeks back, having brought our eight years old swimming and waiting for the class to finish, I was sitting next to a father who was helping his young daughter with her homework. They were doing Roman Numerals.
I have always liked the logic of Roman Numerals – particularly the counting back for 4 and 9.
I did comment to the father that if she managed to convert 99 correctly, she deserved an ice cream cone.
Last Saturday, I was again on child dropping duty and spent an hour walking around the Shandon area. When I spotted this plaque in the North Cathedral, my mind was immediately thinking, if Rev Magrath was expert in Latin, he was possibly 113 years turning in his grave with the use of MDCCCCI instead of MCMI.
That was until Wikipedia revealed that the subtractive notation is not universally in place and so both are correct.
Rev Magrath can rest easy….