Talk:Arabic numerals/Archive 1

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Old talk

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The Arabic numerals (0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9) are used worldwide. They were popularized by the arabs, but were originally used by the early phonecian traders.

The phonecian numerals represented the count of angles in each of their symbols. For example, 0 has no angle; 1 has one angle, 2 has two angles, 3 has three angles etc.

Go to to see what these symbols look like.

See also: Babylonian numerals, Mayan numerals, Roman numerals, Hebrew numerals, Chinese numerals

I don't know if this is real or not, but I've read the same in other sources. --Pinkunicorn

The "number of angles" theory is old, and proven wrong. For one thing, the modern numerals are derived from a set of symbols that look quite different in places -- and they don't follow the angle rule. So much for that.

The Phoenician comment is completely out to lunch. There's no doubt these days that they were invented in India, brought into Arabic society, and that then the variety of them used in North Africa were picked up by Italians, from where they spread into the rest of Europe.

More likely by the Spanish? mfc

If no-one else fixes this one up I'll have a crack at it myself when I get a chance. I've a couple of scholarly works on the history of Arabic numerals in the bookshelves somewhere. -- PaulDrye

Truth is simple and consistent. It is my belief in life. Just like E=mc2. When I found the angle counts theory on the web, it was so simple and consistent that I didn't doubt its validity. I was really interested to know how to disprove it. I know there were many scholarly papers on the topic, but who can tell if those scholars even tried to fit this theory into the other findings.

You prove it wrong by showing that the original numbers from which the modern numerals evolved don't follow the angle rule. The original Brahmi numbers don't look a heck of a lot like the modern ones, and only started looking like they do now after many, many regional variations as they migrated west.

People make the mistake of thinking that the modern numerals were imported wholesale from India, which isn't correct. The concept of zero and the positional system were, but the symbols themselves changed over time. The last number to start looking like itself ("5") started looking like that only after it reached Europe! If you're reading a medieval or early renaissance document and you see what looks like an upside-down lower-case letter "h" -- like an open-topped "4" with a round cross-stroke instead of a straight one -- you've got yourself a "5". The Eastern Arabic symbol for "8" looks just like the symbol Western Europeans use for "7".

Another proof is that at least one symbol ("2") has a simpler explanation. In the Brahmi symbol set it looked like "=". Two cross-bars, unattached, which has an obvious origin for meaning "2" --hint: "1" was written as "-". There are then examples of other scripts derived from the Brahmi one, Marathi for example, where all that has happened is that the writer didn't lift his pen between writing the first crossbar and the second one. "=" turns into "z" and from there it's a short jump to "2".

There are many, many numbering systems -- dozens -- that evolved from the Brahmi system, and there are enough remaining documents that you can trace most of the systems through time and space as the characters change shape. The angle theory implies that they sprang from the forehead of some mathematician like Athena out of Zeus, and have never changed since. That's clearly not the case.

(Can you tell that I found my references?) --PaulDrye

The illustrations at were quite convincing. All the counts do match the respective symbols. But those symbols may be just made up to fit the theory. Was phonecian real? How do their numerals look like?

The Phoenicians were the people who invented the alphabet, in Lebanon around 17-1500 BC. They didn't use anything resembling Hindu-Arabic numerals, though.

The Phoenecians actually started using numerals quite late. In all their early inscriptions (i.e., everything before about 800 BC) they were in the habit of writing the numbers out in words: "Fifty six", not "56".

When they did start using numerals, they borrowed the system used by a number of other peoples in the area. The units are very basic: just vertical hash marks. Three lines for "3": |||. Seven lines for "7", like |||||||. Ten was represented by a horizontal line: "-". "=" for 20, and so on. Interestingly, when the "don't bother picking up the pen" thing kicked in here, the symbol for "20" started to look like a "2" and "30" started to look like a "3", but that's just because similar basic symbols were being used for 2 and 3 in Brahmi. Once you get past "4" and "40", there's no similarity between the signs.

It's important to note that the Phoenicians had symbols for 10, 20, 30.... It was not a positional system. It was basically just Roman numerals with different squiggles. You had a special symbol for twenty instead of writing 2-tens 0-ones like we do. This is just like hundreds of other number systems, and not at all like the one the Indians invented. --PaulDrye

One of the Chinese numerals system is positional. Yet, the Hangzhou numerals contain three special symbols for 10, 20, 30 only for shorthand. No shorthand beyond 30 though. So the use of symbols for 10, 20 etc. can coexist with a positional system. I love wiki wiki, I am learning alot through this type of exchange. Thanks guys!

I cannot see the Tamil numerals even in Clearlyu. They come out as squares with question marks. Then there are the Thai numerals, which are different, and the Gujarati numerals, which are mostly like the Devanagari ones except that Guji 9 looks more like Guji L than Nagari 9. Can someone make a graphic chart? -phma

I switched the chart from vertical to horizontal (for more efficient space usage) and made it an image for the font-impaired. Source for the table is in image:Euro-Arab-Indic-numerals.png; feel free to add to it and re-upload an updated version with additional scripts etc. --Brion VIBBER

I removed the chart below. First of all, it's way to self-serving, havinf names and URL on the image itself, which really isn't appropriate here. Second, it appears to be original research, not established scholarship. There's already an externmal link to an article that explains the theory, and I think that's plenty. --LDC

I removed the image as it is in line for deletion. – Quadell (talk) (sleuth) 02:06, Mar 2, 2005 (UTC)

Just out of curiosity, does anybody know why all the symbols display correctly in my browser except the zero in Tamil, which is a question mark? (Unless the symbol in Tamil really is a question mark...) Tokerboy

It's actually an image. See Image:Euro-Arab-Indic-numerals.png for an explanation. --Camembert
aah, thanks. Tokerboy

I edited the following text from the "Arabic numerals" page

In Japan, where the western numerals and alphabet are widely used, the arabic numerals are known as "romanji". Confusingly enough, this translates roughly as "Roman numerals" which conventionally has another meaning altogether.

See "romaji"; it is "roman characters" (cf. "kanji", or "chinese characters").


This version was incorrect and the next edited version was incorrect as well. Even if it was corrected, "how to say 'roman numerals' in language X" is simply not interesting enough to be included in the article so I removed it. That sort of information is better fit for dictionaries, not an encyclopedia. —Tokek 16:51, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

I don't think the sentences '"The leftward most digit of a number has the greatest value; this is the most logical arrangement if the number is read from right to left, which is how Arabic is read. However, for those accustomed to reading from left to right, it is less than ideal."' are correct.

Having the most valuable digit on the left means you write that one (the most important first). And, in fact, people writing in Arabic start writing from the right (of course) but when they get to a number then guess how long it will be, leave a gap, then write the number from left to right... Mfc

From what I've heard, Classical Arabic said teh equivalent of "two and thirty and three-hundred", thus, the method of writing the smallest digit first would make sense for them Nik42 08:15, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

I removed the following sentence from the article:

Early varieties of West Arabic numerals often use the symbol "4" to represent the number five with some other symbol to represent five (often a loop), or had the glyph of the four digit rotated 90 degrees clockwise.

It doesn't make sense as it stands. It would make sense if the second "five" were replaced with a "four", but that doesn't mean that it would be true. AxelBoldt 12:22, 9 Mar 2004 (UTC)

In the article it is mentioned:

Theorists believe that this is because it becomes difficult to instantaniously count objects past three.

Which theorists? Is there a cite? Sounds like a "common sense fact" that may not actually be a fact. 01:26, 23 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Lots of interested parties here .. so let's introduce ourselves.

  • I'm Quota (quota) and my interest is in Wikipedia and the topic of numerals, especially the decimal ones. This article is a keystone of arithmetic, these days, across the world. I want to make the article be the place people go to learn about the topic.
  • next [please edit/add here...]

We seem to have leap-frog revert problems on this page. The best way to avoid these is to splipt the page into sections (history, etc.) which can then be worked on independently. please don't revert on this page; it will never converge if we do! quota 16:25, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

a) you tried to islamize or arabize this page by changing ethnicities of individuals in articles, b)you outright deleted mentions of key authors c) you entered false information confusing the works of al-kindi with the the works of Al-Khwarizmi d) you conveniently move the references to Hindu-numerals out of sight at the end of the article , no doubt scheduled for a quiet future deletion in the future. e) you obviously do not know your facts on this topic. --Weder4 18:47, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
No! I did not make any of those changes. All I did was correct grammar and mis-spellings, and set up a 'History' section. There are many people editing this article. Please check the history of editing.

If others have made bad edits, please correct them .. one at a time -- but reverting over multiple edits just messes up everyone, and makes no progress.

Thanks -- quota

Talk moved

I have moved the history talk to Talk:History of Indian and Arabic numerals page. Interested editors please continue your debate about history there. deeptrivia (talk) 07:50, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Each time I try to maintain this change it gets removed by multiple editors (I suspect sockpuppets or meatpuppets, but I won't stand to that claim). There is no need for consensus for breaking off part of the article into a subarticle, especially if it is done so in order to maintain order on the main article. The original was bold in his actions, and those who are reverting it are not doing much more than vandalism. Peyna 16:14, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Article name

I have an important question regarding the name of this article. Why should this page not be moved to Hindu-Arabic numerals, given the fact that this is how all other encyclopedias (e.g., Encyclopedia Britannica) name the article, and this is how it is referred to in modern academic papers. Even on the internet, most sources (e.g. [1]) refer to the numerals as Hindu-Arabic numerals. Even in this article itself (including the controversial new additions), Hindu-Arabic is used all the time. deeptrivia (talk) 07:50, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

If you call something "controversial" you have to provide evidence that there's a real, reputable controversy. Just because something proves that your biases led you to false and distorted beliefs and you don't like it does not mean it's "controversial", it just means that you were in error, as you had been and as you still are. I have demanded many times that you prove that the additions I made, which reported the scientific consensus and cited reliable sources, were "controversial" by citing evidence. You have not done so. Until you do so I demand that you shut up about it, because I'm not interested in your original lies. Get your sources, and then we'll talk. You should understand that this site - Wikipedia - has policies and you are expected to abide by them; the edit box states in clear terms that "Content... must be based on verifiable sources." Why aren't you abiding by wikipedia policies that "content must be based on verifiable sources"; Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, Wikipedia:No original research, Wikipedia: Cite sources, Wikipedia:Verifiability, and Wikipedia:Reliable sources? Because you know your content consists of original lies. You have been asked many times to provide verifiable and reliable sources on a point-by-point basis like I did, you've not done so, I therefore have no reason to accept your nonsense, which I have proved to be in error at length and in detail. csssclll 15:39, 11 December 2005 (UTC).

If there are no valid objections in the next 10 days, I will be bound to move the article. deeptrivia (talk) 14:17, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

That would probably make sense , but we must then decide what to do with the material that already exists at the current Hindu-Arabic numerals page. --Vertaloni 14:47, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Currently Hindu-Arabic numerals just redirects here; so really deeptrivia is just proposing that we reverse the redirect and have this article point there. Peyna 14:50, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Yup, that's what my proposal is. I think it makes sense. deeptrivia (talk) 14:52, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
I refuse that. I refuse redirects from this article, and especially so given the history of strong biases shown repeatedly by those proposing such redirect. This article is about the Arabic numerals and should remain so, in particular the Arabic Western Numerals; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. The Indian Numerals article should be about the Indian numerals, Devanagari and others, १, २, ३, ४, ५, ६, ७, ८, ९, and *NOT* about the Arabic numerals. I wish to redirect all those Hindu nationalist editors on this page to the Indian numerals one because it needs serious work on what should really be its topic. I have made distinction between a numeral system (Hindu-Arabic numerals) and a specific numeral script (Arabic Western, Arabic Eastern, Devanagari, etc). There should be a page for the Hindu-Arabic numerals system that makes mention and links to the various numeral scripts within it, but this Arabic Numerals article should remain to its topic. csssclll 16:20, 11 December 2005 (UTC).
Beside this Indophobic rant, do you have any other reasonable argument on why wikipedia should not follow the academic norms about numeral system naming conventions? This article is about numeral system and not a numeral script, a topic which is generally covered in the script articles (eg in Arabic script, Devanagari script etc). I won't mind renaming it as Arabic numeral script or Arabic numeral symbols, and having an another article called Hindu-Arabic numerals, with the page Arabic numerals serving as a disambiguation page. deeptrivia (talk) 16:29, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps we ought to create an article entitled something along the lines of Alternative views on Arabic numerals and move User:cssscll's additions there and then provide a link. If it is a valid alternative view of the history and development of the numerals, it can stand on its own in that article to be evaluated and picked over by thousands of Wikipedians.

I think this approach is currently the best course of action in order to end this constant reverting. Peyna 17:03, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Sounds good. I still think User:cssscll is confused between a numeral system and numeral symbols. He admits that the numeral system is "Hindu-Arabic", while the symbols are Arabic, and I think that's fine. Numeral symbols come packed with a script, and in India itself there are about a dozen variants that look quite different. These symbols are all discussed on the corresponding script pages. This whole series of article here is about numeral systems (see the template on the right of the article.) This article is supposed to (as it did until last month) talk about the Hindu-Arabic numeral system as contrasted to the Roman, Maya or Greek numeral systems. There are dozens of symbol sets that are used to work with this numeral system. We can write a section in this article about the various symbol sets employed to use this numeral system. deeptrivia (talk) 17:16, 11 December 2005 (UTC)


I'm submitting this to WP:RfC to bring in some more outside views on the dispute. I would highly recommend that any editors involved in the dispute refrain from any editting, reverting, etc. for the next several days. Peyna 16:23, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Nevermind, it's already there: Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Maths,_science,_and_technology#Mathematics Peyna 16:24, 11 December 2005 (UTC)


The reference of should be replaced with a more reliable source if possible. At the moment, while it is an impressive article, it's just a blog posting by an anonymous author. If someone can track down something that provides the same information referenced from there that is more "reliable" it would be appreciated. Peyna 16:58, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

What this article is about, and other things

Can we please stop this stupid edit war, especially POV forks, which are explicitely prohibited by Wikipedia policy? This article is called "Arabic numerals". I don't care what anybody believes about their history, I don't care what their real history is, I don't care if thy came from Mars. Arabic numerals in English are (a) 0123456789 and (b) the numerals actually used by Arabs. There is plenty to write about these symbols without referring to their history. And that is what this page should be about.

I am deleting the POV fork and reverting this article into its last version when it actually described its subject. If the name for the history page that I used is inappropriate, by all means, go and move the page to a more appropriate article (maybe Hindu-Arabic numerals which is now a redirect here?) and continue this debate there. Zocky 17:20, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Zocky - I'm attempting to the same thing you are; end this dispute. Note that my fork of the article was not an attempt at a POV fork (which is a guideline, not policy) so much as treating that user's contributions as possibly having some merit and giving them a place to develop instead of shutting them out. If the history article is the more appropriate place, then chop up his contributions and put them there and get rid of the article I created.
I don't see anything wrong with creating a sub article to deal with this problem temporarily. I don't support using POV forks as a long-term method of handling the type of information in the article, but I do see it as an effective mechanism for ending this edit-war for the time being. Peyna 17:24, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
By the way, I don't believe that POV fork is a WP:CSD. The article could have been allowed to stay and then go through AfD which would provide more outside input and go further towards putting an end to this debate. Peyna 17:27, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
First, things like that are not done in the article namespace. Use user space or talk page subpages instead. Second, if you really want that article back, I'll go undelete it and put it on AfD. Zocky 17:31, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Looks like there are two parallel (but mixed up) discussions going on here. What I am talking about is not history at all but about the name. I shifted the history talk on the history page with the hope that here we can concentrate on the present. Isn't this series supposed to be about numeral systems and isn't the numeral system called "Hindu-Arabic" and not "Arabic" which refers to the symbols. That's my only concern at this moment. Thanks. deeptrivia (talk) 17:31, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Finally some progress :) I think that the series box may be what's causing the problem. Indeed, this page is not about the Hindu-Arabic numeral system (we don't even have an article about that), it's about Arabic numerals, as every dictionary defines them. Maybe the series box needs to be changed to reflect that, or maybe the articles about different kinds of numerals should be in a separate series. Zocky 17:41, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
At least according to the Numerals template it ought to be "Arabic (Hindu)" or "Arabic (Abjad)" but for some reason we ended up with "Arabic numerals" and "Abjad numerals" respectively. Peyna 17:37, 11 December 2005 (UTC)


I think I'm starting to get a hang of this whole situation and here is what I propose be done to "fix" whatever problem may or may not exist.

  1. Rename this article to Arabic numerals (Hindu)
  2. Rename Abjad numerals to Arabic numerals (Abjad)
  3. Rename History of Indian and Arabic numerals to something more appropriate
  4. Provide disambig and redirect pages as appropriate
  5. Move all content on the history of these numerals and how they propogated throughout the world and their origin to that article
  6. Stop the edit war.

Thanks. Peyna 17:42, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

I don't have a strong opinion on (1) and (2). We should simply follow our naming conventions. In the least, Arabic numerals should redirect to the article that describes what are commonly called Arabic numerals in English, i.e. 0123456789. On other counts, I absolutely agree. Zocky 17:48, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Totally in agreement with Zocky. Arabic numerals are simply 0123456789. This article should reflect that and the title should remain as it is. -- Svest 17:59, 11 December 2005 (UTC)  Wiki me up™

Further suggestions

This article stays that way Csssclll wants it, except:

  • The numeral systems table on the right is removed.
  • There is a disambiguation remark on the top, saying something like: This article is about the Arabic numeral symbols. For Arabic numeral system, see Hindu-Arabic numerals.

The Hindu-Arabic numerals article will:

  • discuss exclsively the numeral system (like the place value concept, the concept of zero, etc), and will not talk about symbols.

deeptrivia (talk) 18:06, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Can we call it Hindu-Arabic numeral system to avoid misunderstandings like this in the future? The word numerals means symbols used to represent numbers.

BTW, what made everybody decide that exactly this article is the right one to discuss the whole of the Hindu-Arabic numeral system? We also have Indian numerals, Brahmi numerals in this series, both of which are just as (in)appropriate for that purpose. Zocky 18:14, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

I think there is just a misunderstanding. Most of the "<type> numerals" articles just give what the numeral system is and a brief overview. The history and origin of the numerals is certainly important; but the article giving the discription of what are known as "Arabic numerals" to most in the English-speaking world probably isn't the best place for that. Take a look at the other articles on numerals to better understand this. Peyna 18:20, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Sure! No problems. Actually, the confusion stems from the fact that while for example the Roman numeral system corresponds to a unique set of symbols (and so both can be covered in the same article), for the Hindu-"Arabic" numeral system, there are many symbol sets. I guess it would be fine to call it Hindu-Arabic numeral system, as long as the numeral systems table is on that article, the table itself is modified to link to that article, and the Arabic numerals article has a disambiguation line pointing to that article. I think it is a good solution. deeptrivia (talk) 18:22, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
To answer Zocky, the reason we ended up discussing all this here is that what is known as "Arabic numerals" is a specific symbol set used to work with the Hindu-Arabic numeral system, but the table on the right classified it as a numeral system on its own right. deeptrivia (talk) 18:26, 11 December 2005 (UTC)


So any objections at all to the following steps?

  1. Create Hindu-Arabic numeral system
  2. Move {{Table Numeral Systems}} to that article, and remove from here.
  3. Modify {{Table Numeral Systems}} to conform with article name.
  4. Remove "Brahmi" and "Indian" numerals from the table. Right now, the Indian numerals article also talks at length about the numeral system apart from symbols. Maybe that can be edited and another disambiguation can be provided on that article.
  5. Put disambiguation remark on this article saying something like: This article is about the Arabic numeral symbols. For Arabic numeral system, see Hindu-Arabic numeral system.

Thanks. deeptrivia (talk) 18:40, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Agreed. A couple of suggestions:
  • Judging from the article on Brahmi numerals, they were not really using a positional numeral system, so maybe they should remain in the box.
  • Use Indian numerals as an overview for all kinds of Hindu-Arabic numerals used in India, and link to any detailed articles.
  • Maybe include both Arabic numerals and Indian numerals in the template as sub-items of the Hindu-Arabic numeral system, to make them more accessible. Alternatively, make a new series box for articles about numerals as glyphs.
  • We may consider the possibility that various additive systems which basically use 27 letters of the local alphabet to represent 1, 2, 3 ... 9, 10, 20, 30 ... 90, 100, 200, 300 ... 900, are all variations of the same numeral system, especially those that have a common origin. But since articles on them are short and already interlinked, it may not be worth the effort.
Zocky 20:57, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

All your suggestions make quite a lot of sense. I agree to them all. deeptrivia (talk) 21:06, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

I suggest we just cool off making changes to this page for a while as their is too much disputed content to go ahead and begin making major changes to this page.--Vertaloni 00:23, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
If the above changes are made, be sure to go through all the links to Arabic numerals, to see which should be changed to Hindu-Arabic numeral system. Paul August 03:35, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Sure, Paul. I'll ensure that. deeptrivia (talk) 03:52, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

I just stumbled on this dispute. Despite user csssclll behaving in an inappropriate manner, I don't see how his concerns were addressed. His factual changes were supported with valid references to academic papers, and, correct me if I'm mistaken (I couldn't find it anywhere), but none of those who disagreed with him have provided reasonable proof that his research is incorrect. Instead of his points being addressed, they have been side-stepped, and he has been ignored based on his aggressiveness rather than invalid/valid (?) points. Can someone please explain what I'm missing here? -Frogular 02:37, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Oh you just stumbled in , just like that eh . And just out of the blue you have been reading users csssclll's edits even though you yourself have only done 7 edits in 3 months and you just happened to stumble in right after csssclll is blocked to affirm that his bogus sources are "valid references to academic papers". Sounds a bit suspicious to me. You wouldn't be csssclll would you? --Vertaloni 03:46, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
His concern was, from what I collect, the emphasis on the Indian origins of the "Arabic" numerals. This was due to a misunderstanding about whether this article is about numerals (the symbols) or the numeral system itself. As suggested above, we are planning to have a separate article on the numeral system, and letting this article focus on the symbols. Apart from this, I think user csssclll had some other issues with Astriolok, which has little to do with the problem I was discussing, and which probably they can resolve on this article once both of them are unblocked. deeptrivia (talk) 02:50, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Are his points are valid, then, with reference to the numeral system and not to the numerals? -Frogular 03:15, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
He did a complete revamp of the history section, which had been stable atleast since I've seen it (May 2005.) The reason he cited for this revamp was that the earlier article was false anti-arab propaganda by Hindu nationalists etc, despite the fact that Indian editors had hardly made any contributions to that version of the article. His new edits were disputed by other editors. I haven't seen the authenticity of his sources myself (i am not really concerned much with the history part), but I can see that many of his edits do not conform to the established theory of origin of both the numerals and the numeral system. His sources probably constitute recent theories that are yet to be accepted by a broad community of historians. This debate can however go on, and is not going to be affected by the disambiguation solution arrived at above. deeptrivia (talk) 03:49, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Since this is being discussed, I read some of his references. I felt that he quoted many of his sources out of context, picking a line or two that suited him best, and leaving out the rest. This resulted in a one-sided story that seems to convey a very different picture from what the sources convey. deeptrivia (talk) 04:05, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

An appeal

I've just blocked User:Csssclll for a period of 24 hours for violation of WP:3RR and I am investigating other users for possible violations. I request you to resolve differences on the talk page and if it is not possible, please request protection. Also, considering that the blocked user is new, you may want to be more considerate once he returns. Pl. see WP:BITE. Thanks, --Gurubrahma 18:09, 11 December 2005

Gurubrahma! Being an observer of this article for a couple of weeks now, I may say that your action was fair. However, I am wondering how come you haven't blocked Astriolok for the same reasons given above! I am basing my comment on 16:39 December 11, 17:33 December 11 and 17:37 December 11. Cheers -- Svest 19:19, 11 December 2005 (UTC)  Wiki me up&#153;
Astriolok was also immediately blocked for the same duration and for the same reasons. Thanks. deeptrivia (talk) 19:26, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the info deeptrivia. Cheers -- Svest 19:35, 11 December 2005 (UTC)  Wiki me up&#153;

Why was User:Peyna blocked for only three hours for the same offense? This violates

"In the cases where multiple parties violate the rule, administrators should treat all sides equally.".

- Evil saltine 22:43, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

User:Peyna made four reversions, rather than three as was said on their talk page.
  1. 06:51, 11 December 2005
  2. 08:54, 11 December 2005
  3. 09:00, 11 December 2005
  4. 10:24, 11 December 2005
- Evil saltine 00:18, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
If you feel this is a problem, this is not the place to discuss it. You can bring it up on that Admin's talk page and if you feel it has been a misuse of admin privileges bring up an RfC. But this does not belong on the article talk page. Peyna 00:55, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
I am not sure about that but I think we are replying to Talk:Arabic numerals#An appeal. Cheers -- Svest 01:04, 12 December 2005 (UTC)  Wiki me up&#153;
That is fine, if you want to discuss Gurubrahma's appeal to resolve differences on the talk page. However, a discussion criticizing an administrator's actions does not belong in the talk page for the article. Peyna 01:06, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
Admin User:Peyna was not at fault here from what I have seen, User:Peyna was acting on good faith and trying to straighten the mess created by a nasty revert war on this page. --Vertaloni 03:52, 12 December 2005 (UTC)


  • Created Hindu-Arabic numeral system. Please contribute.
  • Updated the Table
  • Redirected links: Still in progress, the list is huge. Help on this will be very highly appreciated. (The complete list is here)

Thanks :) deeptrivia (talk) 06:15, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

What this article is about, part 3

I've moved some more discussion Since some editors seem to have failed to read the above, let my try to explain the agreed points again:

I will leave it to other editors to revert to the last version of this article that is actually about Arabic numerals, as defined by English dictionaries. Please continue other debates on appropriate talk pages. Zocky 22:41, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Arabic Numerals, what are they?

Peyna, Everyone, I suggest the following text:

"This English Language version of Wikipedia article describes and discusses the topic "Arabic Numerals" as defined by standard English Language dictionaries, where it is defined as "Of or pertaining to Arabia or the Arabians. Arabic numerals or figures, the nine digits, 1, 2, 3, etc., and the cipher 0."[2]. It therefore limits description and discussion to the numeral symbols (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 0,) known in the English Language as Arabic Numerals, as well as other Numeral symbols used by the Arabs, such as the Arabic-Indic Numerals."

There already is a page for the Hindu-Arabic Numeral System, There's a page for Indian Numerals, I therefore feel it's reasonable that this article should limit itself to Arabic Numerals as defined above according to an English language dictionary. The article should make references to other Wikipedia articles as appropriate, but should remove all needless information and leave that to other Wikipedia articles.

Discuss please. csssclll (22:51, 13 December 2005 (UTC))

Why should Wikipedia limit itself to what Webster says something is? Peyna 00:47, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Because Wikipedia should not be limited by other sources does not mean it cannot emulate other sources. Webster decided to segment the number system into different subsections. What we should be discussing/questioning is if the organization that Webster chose to use would be more appropriate in Wikipedia. The fact that it is Webster and not XZY's homepage does suggest that it could possibly be a good organization of content. Frogular 01:16, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
What else than using a dictionary do you propose for establishing what words mean? Zocky 01:27, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Because if we are so afraid of whatever content this page might become that we leave it as a dictionary definition, then we ought to just transwiki the page to Wiktionary and delete it. Peyna 01:44, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
This being the English Wikipedia, I think the main issue is what would've been the intent of an English speaking or English reading person when looking up the term "Arabic numerals". Dictionaries are good enough guides to the common usage and meaning of terms, and I really doubt that an average person, in fact, most users of the English Wikipedia, would be intending to look up Devanagari or Tamil numerals when they search for "Arabic numerals". I therefore suggest we restrict this to the Western numerals (1, 2, 3...), which I suspect will be the case for the vast majority, and the Arabic-Indic (Arabic Eastern) ones. It doesn't mean we only write about what would be in a dictionary of course, we can write about them a whole lot more, it just means that we remain focused on them. Regards. csssclll (02:02, 14 December 2005 (UTC))
csssclll, could you briefly explain what you would find inappropriate in a revised version of Arabic numerals? I really don't mean to ask you to repeat your old arguments at length but am asking since the discussion has progressed and some changes/compromises have already been made. -Frogular 01:40, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Sure. As you may have noticed, I actually prefer this "revised version" I think you linked to (Peyna's), as evidenced by my edits and reversions, over the other one. This "revised version" though could do with some improvement, I feel most of them would be resolved by limiting the topic to what the term "Arabic numerals" means in English, namely, the numerals 1, 2, 3.... and also those used by the Arabs (Arabic-Indic), but mostly 1, 2, 3..., this would be a good start, and I'll go over the rest of it as you requested over the next couple of days or as time allows. Regards. csssclll (02:26, 14 December 2005 (UTC))

If you look at the definition carefully [3], it defines "arabic numerals" as "the nine digits, 1, 2, 3, etc., and the cipher 0." This excludes any other Eastern, Western etc. variants. "Of or pertaining to Arabia or the Arabians" is the definition of "Arabic." The way the software for this dictionary is designed is it gives definitions for all possible subsets in the word string. So the page mentioned defines both "Arabic" and "Arabic numeral." I request everyone to please verify all such purported "references" personally. deeptrivia (talk) 01:52, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I also noticed that sloppy reference, but it's still useful to establish what the word "Arabic" means. We have another problem here, and that is that "Arabic numerals" is both an expression that means something else than the sum of its words (i.e. 01234567890), and a regular adjective+noun combination, where it means exactly the sum of its words (i.e. numerals used by Arabs).
Maybe we should have a separate article for Eastern Arabic numerals, or maybe we should just write this one clearly to explain both kinds.
All that said, there is no definition of Arabic numerals that includes numerals used in Indian scripts, e.g. Devanagari. The only such definition that I could find on the web, in fact, is the one from the old version of this article. See [4] for a sample.Zocky 02:55, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I think we should write this one clearly to explain both kinds. After all, the page is about Arabic Numerals. It should make clear that the common meaning of Arabic Numerals refers to the standard 0123 stuff, and include Eastern Arabic numerals as a less common/known type. -Frogular 04:51, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Exactly. I agree with Zocky. Numerals like Devanagari do not belong here. However, if we are going to have any History section here at all, then, inevitably we'll have to start from Brahmi numerals from which all these different numerals evolved. deeptrivia (talk) 03:16, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Talk page vandalism

A whole bunch of discussion threads are missing and I don't feel like straightening this mess out so whomever did it should fix it.--Vertaloni 04:08, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

See the comment above, the discussion you're looking for is probably at Talk:History of Indian and Arabic numerals. Peyna 04:11, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Vertaloni, your reversions away from talk page consensus isn't constructive. -Frogular 05:00, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Which version?

Okay, this is getting annoying; we're still reverting between two versions here endlessly.

Which of these two is the right version of the page that we should be working from:

  1. [5]
  2. [6]

Peyna 04:13, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

2. It is closer to the disambiguated intention of referring to specifically the symbol sets and not the system. -Frogular 04:56, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

2 is fine with me too, though some things need to be modified. e.g., it says "The Arabic numeral system has used many different sets of symbols." That should go. The article should focus only on symbols 0..9, and maybe a line or two about other Arabic versions of symbols will be acceptable. Any attempt to reintroduce one-sided/speculative/absurd history theories (like Arabs learned about Zero from the Greeks and introduced it in India when they invaded Sind), would understandably result in chaos again. deeptrivia (talk) 05:11, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
2, please. csssclll (06:07, 14 December 2005 (UTC))
1 leave #1 alone , how many times do we have to go over the same thing? --Astriolok 06:37, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
If we decide to have a history section, version 1 has the correct history. However, I guess we are deciding not to include any history here at all. deeptrivia (talk) 06:39, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
You do not get to decide to do this between a small group like this.If you want we can have a Wikipedia wide survey by bringing in a large group of wikipedia editors and then we can review the matter.--Astriolok 06:42, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I would very highly welcome that. It would also most certainly mean that statements like "There is no evidence of use of zero in India before 9th century" would have to go. And obscure papers that have received 0 citations till date (and those too quoted completely out of context), will not be used as conclusive proofs. But is this survey feasible at all? Why don't you add relevant material from "your" version (which I believe is factually correct) into this article? When this article used to be about a numeral system, I supported version 1, but due to constant attacks, we had to change change it into an article about numeral symbols, and now there is a new article about the numeral system. Therefore, all information from "your" version that is about the numeral system can go into Hindu-Arabic numeral system. All information about history can go into the history article. If there is any plan to have a history section here, I will fully support version 1. deeptrivia (talk) 06:57, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I do not have a problem with version 1, except that as the situation has played out, this page should be about the numerals, not the numeral system. Thus all the information about history should go where deeptrivia said it should. Astriolok, you're welcome to request a review of the matter but I don't see what it will achieve, since the plan is to rearrange information between the newly disambiguated pages. There can't be a problem with better organized information. We are simply deciding which of the 2 versions would be easier to work with to achieve the desired form of being purely about the numeral symbols. You can go ahead and cut and paste your desired information to Hindu-Arabic numeral system and History of Indian and Arabic numerals. Finally, I have not seen your rationale on this talk page for why you think the article should remain untouched. -Frogular 08:06, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Calling other editors who are trying to improve the article vandals in your edit summaries probably isn't going to make them all that excited about entertaining your suggestions. Your efforts are nothing more than constantly reverting instead of actually trying to work things out. At least we got csssclll to be a little more level-headed, when are you going to come around? Peyna 13:34, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
2, definitely. Another thing, Eastern Arabic numerals must be described somewhere, and if we're not making a separate article for them, there's no need to specify how much should be written about them here. Zocky 06:53, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
1, definitely. This article is about Arabic Numerals meaning its about 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. nothing else. Its so simple .--Vertaloni 13:15, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Just a note, that even if we accept one version over the other; that's just to provide a basis for future editing. We're not picking the final version, we're picking a good version to use as a basis for what is to come. That said, there's no reason to go right to a straw poll or a formal vote. If this attempt to get some kind of consensus doesn't fly, then we can use a more formal poll. Voting should always be a last resort on Wikipedia. I just wanted to figure out which version we ought to be working from because edit summary piss fights don't explain what is going on very well. Peyna 13:26, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Peyna. For example, whichever be the version, it ought to say that "Arabic numerals" is a misnomer, and ought to mention that "Hindu-Arabic numerals" is more accurate, and other terms used are "Hindu numerals" and "Indian numerals". See for example, this link from New Scientist: [7]
A few more examples of references that explicitly call "Arabic numerals" a "misnomer":[8], [9], [10], ... . deeptrivia (talk) 14:19, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

  1. 1 is the long term stable version until the csss editor came along and decided to wipe it out.--Vertaloni 14:13, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't see that as valid reasoning. While the length of time a certain form of an article has existed might give some weight to that being a good version, there is no reason to conclude that longstanding articles can't be edited without having a vote of every Wikipedia on earth. Peyna 15:03, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

The intro

do we all agree on this intro?


Arabic numerals (also known as Indian numerals, Hindu numerals or Hindu-Arabic numerals) are the most commonly used set of symbols used to represent numbers around the world. They are considered an important milestone in the development of mathematics.

Origins of the symbols

The term "Arabic numerals" is actually a misnomer, since what are known in English as "Arabic numerals" were neither invented nor widely used by the Arabs. Instead, they were developed in India by the Hindus around 400 BC. However, because it was the Arabs who brought this system to the West after the Hindu numerical system found its way to Persia, the numeral system became known as "Arabic" [11]. Arabs themselves call the numerals they use "Indian numerals", أرقام هندية, arqam hindiyyah).

Hindu numerals in the first century AD

Indian numerals 100AD.gif

The rest of the article is a mess that needs to be made clear and understandable so that a 10 year old could get it.--Astriolok 15:19, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

The first two links seem pieces sent in by users. The decodeunicode doesn't load on my machine. The fourth is by a guy called Patel with Hinduism in the title of the piece, which makes it biased. I have no problem in saying that the term "Arabic numerals" was originally a misnomer, for example back in the days of Fibonacci and early Europeans who were exposed to them, but the 1, 2, 3, 4 numerals are indeed the Arabic numerals, and they are "visually distinct" from the numerals used in India. csssclll (01:28, 15 December 2005 (UTC))
  • We can add a line to the effect that the symbols originated from Brahmi numerals.
  • If you can find a reference for the fact that Arabs never widely used it until the modern times, we can add that too. We can add it with a [citation needed] tag right now.deeptrivia (talk) 15:30, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
One thing I want to add, user ccccsslll hardly had any valid points against this version at all. For example, he created a big hue and cry about the sentence "This book, which the Indian scholar presented from, was probably Brahmasphutasiddhanta(The Opening of the Universe) which was written in 628 by the Indian mathematician Brahmagupta and had used the Hindu Numerals with the zero sign." This fact clearly appears in his own favorite reference [16]. I looked at all his objections. In my humble opinion, none of them are appropriate for a sensible discussion. deeptrivia (talk) 15:41, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree; actually I see cccsslll and Astriolok/Vertaloni being guilty of this (here and in other edits) where they will cite a source or the same source as someone else and take it out of context enough or ignore part of what the source says and then include some weird version in an article. Personally, I don't prefer either version; I've been going back to what might be called "cccsslll's" version because it is most closely reflects the consensus that this article should only deal with the numerals, not the numeral system or the history. It is certainly in need of extensive editing, but is the closest to the consensus that we reached. Other editors already started cleaning up that version and then some other editors decided just to go back. Peyna 16:12, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Also, the term "misnomer" is misleading, since it implied "wrong name"; and it is really more of a misleading name. The term "Arabic numerals" by its words might suggest that the Arabs are the origin of the numerals; however, they simply passed the numerals onto Europeans, and Europeans called them Arabic Numerals because that is where they got them from. I also find it hard to believe that they were never "widely" used by Arabs if the Europeans found them useful enough to adopt.
The introduction should simply state what the numerals are (0-10). There should be a disambiguation at the top explaining that the article is about 0-10 and not numbers used by arabs and provide alternative articles the person may be looking for (such as the numeral system). Then there can be a small section on "origin" which points to the main article on history and provides a little background. Peyna 16:15, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Sure, I won't stick to the word misnomer in spite of the fact that the term is considered misnomer. But there is no excuse not to mention in the first line itself that these symbols (0..9) are preferably refered to as "Hindu-Arabic numerals", and are also referred to as "Hindu numerals" and "Indian numerals", although colloquially they are called Arabic numerals for historical reasons. deeptrivia (talk) 16:47, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Then this article should be called "Hindu-Arabic numerals" and "Arabic numerals" should be a disambig. I still think the grounds for calling it a misnomer aren't all that great. To the Europeans, the numbers came from the Arabs, so they gave them their name. Thus the name is correct in that it states that the numbers came to the Europeans from the Arabs. It's only an "incorrect" name if you insist that a name must only point to the original origin of something and not an intermediary. Peyna 19:52, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
It's not me who is proposing that the term should be called a misnomer. It is a fact that the term is called misnomer by a significant number of people, and our job here is to report that fact, irrespective of whether we agree to it or not. From the very beginning, in fact, I am proposing that if wikipedia has to be correct academically, the article should be called "Hindu-Arabic numerals" and "Arabic numerals" should be a redirect. deeptrivia (talk)
I can agree with the redirect; we discussed this before, but I don't recall the conclusion. The fact that a lot of people call it a misnomer does not make it one; we can mention that a lot of people call it a misnomer and provide a cite to information demonstrating that. Just because a lot of people call something something doesn't make what they call it a fact, it only makes the fact that they called it that a fact (confusing enough?) Peyna 22:07, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
 :) I understand what you are saying. It would be okay with me to say that "some people" call it a misnomer to qualify the statement. There are no academicians who are aware of the history of these numerals, and still insist that "Arabic numerals" is not a misnomer. The use of the word "misnomer" is a minor point, however, and a redirect will more appropriately redress the inaccuracy. We didn't conclude on the redirect discussion last time. deeptrivia (talk) 22:19, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
PS: I know it for a fact (read it long ago) that only Arab mathematicians, and other scholars and traders who were in contact with India used the Hindu-Arabic numerals, and the common Arab masses never used it until the modern times. However, I do not have references available right now. deeptrivia (talk) 16:53, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Support. "Hindu-Arabic" or "Indo-Arabic" are the standard scholarly terms for our numerals. From the OED:
1911 SMITH & KARPINSKI Hindu-Arabic Numerals iii. 45 "Concerning the earliest epigraphical instances of the use of the nine symbols, plus the zero, with place value, there is some question."
1884 Encycl. Brit. XVII. 627/1 "In Europe, before the introduction of the algorithm or full Indo-Arabic system with the zero."
Georges Ifrah, in his Universal History of numbers, has the following chapter titles:
  • Indian Civilization: the Cradle of Modern Numerals
  • Indian Numerals and Calculation in the Islamic World
  • The Slow Progress of Indo-Arabic Numerals in Western Europe
"Arabic numeral" is a very common abbreviation for "Hindu-Arabic" or "Indo-Arabic", but it's not appropriate in the more formal context of the title of an encyclopedia article. Personally, I prefer "Indo-Arabic" over "Hindu-Arabic", as "Hindu" is a religion rather than a civilization.
As for 'Arabic numeral', that article should cover Arabic numerals: You know, the numerals used when writing Arabic. At the top there should be a disambig with a link to 'Indo-Arabic numeral'. kwami 22:23, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Until 19th century, the words "Hindu" and "Indian" were synonymus. An overwhelming majority of scholars refer to the numerals as Hindu-Arabic, and not Indo-Arabic. deeptrivia (talk) 22:30, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Wow, I didn't know that Hindu-Arabic numerals redirects here. I SUPPORT the change to Hindu-Arabic not Indo-Arabic, a term which I have never heard of. Although Europeans in the past may have called these Arabic numerals, that was histroy. Now everybody refers to them as Hindu-Arabic. DaGizza Chat (c) 22:45, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
How about this? Main article will be Hindu-Arabic numerals and it will state that these are colloquially known as Arabic numerals in the western world although the more accurate scholarly term is Hindu-Arabic numerals as they originated in India. Arabic numerals will have a disambiguation page pointing to Hindu-Arabic numerals and be about the actual arabic script numerals (right -> left stuff) -Frogular 23:11, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
On second thought, I'm not sure if the main article should be moved to Hindu-Arabic numerals as this might cause more confusion (between numerals/symbols). Regardless, the article should state that Arabic numerals is the common colloquial term for the scholarly term Hindu-Arabic numerals -Frogular 23:18, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Sam Spade 23:14, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

These numerals are known as Arabic and not as Hindu because the Arabs learned them from the Hindus and the Europeans learned them from the Arabs. As the Arabs were astonishing mathematicians while Europe was just emerging from ages of ignorance, the founders of our western civilization simply dubbed them Arabic. Few people resorted to the Hindu-Arabic, more correct, term. For centuries, the Arabic term was more than enough to refer to those numerals, and this has since become an acquired custom, and that which was a misnomer became a traditional, proper name and is not a misnomer anymore. I feel that this misconception must be cleared, but the article does not have to be renamed for that - Arabic is a term in itself, by now. I suggest the inclusion of some enlightening text on the subject, such as

"The term Arabic numerals was at first a misnomer, since they were developed by Hindus around 400 BC. However, because it was the Arabs who brought this system to Europe after the Hindu numerical system found its way to Persia, the numeral system became known as Arabic, which is now a widespread and accepted term."

as something similar to what Astriolok suggested. -- Subramanian talk 23:35, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Adding some more information. I support Hindu-Arabic as the best name, certainly. The important thing , however, is that due credit is given within the article. If the name is made proper - as Britannica has shown us it can be done without creating any confusion - so much the better. Subramanian talk 02:18, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I believe the article should be named Hindu-Arabic numerals. It was well known that the Arabs learned the numeral system from Hindus. I think Will Durant, an eminient historian with his eight volume book, the Story of Civilization refers to the numerals as such. I don't remember the exact page though. Please look it up.

Raj2004 00:38, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

also, there is a good web site having numerous citations supporting the importance of Hindu culture and mathematics. Please feel free to take a look:

Raj2004 00:48, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Reply to User:Sam Spade: The google test is not a surprise. These numerals are informally and colloquially known as Arabic numerals in the West, which dominates the number of pages on the internet. As per an editor above, "Arabic numeral" is a very common abbreviation for Hindu-Arabic, but it's not appropriate in the more formal context of the title of an encyclopedia article, which should be more rigorous in reflecting academic norms. By the way, I got 38,500 hits for Hindu-Arabic numerals, but I never said at the first place that "Hindu-Arabic" is more used by common people than "Arabic." deeptrivia (talk) 00:51, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

This again is the issue of a difference between a numeral system and a numeral script or symbols. There's no dispute that the Hindu-Arabic numerals is the preferred term when referring to the numeral system, but the 1, 2, 3 are the numerals widely known in English as Arabic numerals. Even calling the Arabic-Indic numerals the Indic numerals is discouraged by unicode as it leads to confusion with numerals used in India[17]. The fact remains that 1, 2, 3, 4 are "visually distinct" from the Indian numerals. Say to someone "Arabic numerals" and they'll know exactly what you mean, say to them "Indian numerals" and they'll be left wondering. For what it's worth, my personal preference is the term "Western numerals", as this is much more clear than Arabic numerals, but I refuse, wholeheartedly, to call them Indian numerals, as this is nonsensical and meaningless in general convention. I will not accept an instruction to call a man an ape because he evolved from one, a man is a man and an ape is an ape. I think editors of this article and Wikipedia should just report facts as they are and refrain from trying to change them, if a whole English and European culture calls them Arabic numerals then that's what they are to this culture, that's their name, there's no reason for revisionist activism from another culture. csssclll (01:59, 15 December 2005 (UTC))
  • As you rightly pointed out, this page is about numerals (symbols) and all discussion is about the symbols. You might have noticed. nobody is demanding to change the name to "Indian numerals", which would be absurd, because the formal name of the numerals is "Hindu-Arabic" numerals, which is what the discussion is about. deeptrivia (talk) 02:04, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Please also note that our personal preferences do not matter while naming an encyclopedia article. deeptrivia (talk) 02:06, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Perhaps but look at the google hits that Sam Spade has listed above , clearly Arabic Numerals gets far more hits than any other title.--Astriolok 02:11, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Absolutely no doubt about that Astriolok! But is that the only criterion? I think the fact that articles in research papers and other encyclopedias (that are written by professional people who are rigorous scholars, who are paid a lot of money for their work, and who are held accountable for what they write, and are peer-reviewed at many levels) exclusively use the term "Hindu-Arabic numerals", has a lot of weight. deeptrivia (talk) 02:25, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Even today in Arab countries they do not use "Arabic Numerals"

Here is a shot of a telephone keypad in Cairo Egypt that shows the Arab symbols they use for numbers even today next to their equivalent Western numerals. The arabs use their symbol system ,(not the western symbols ) everywhere in the Arab world.


--Astriolok 02:04, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

See this page where it says "Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya use only Western numerals"[18]. This is important because the West (Europe) got those numerals from those North African Arab countries and Arab Spain, not from Egypt. csssclll (03:32, 15 December 2005 (UTC))

Some reasons for changing the title to Hindu-Arabic numerals

  • Other encyclopedias like Britannica [19], refer to the symbols exclusively as "Hindu-Arabic" everywhere they are mentioned.
  • According to another article on Britannica, titled "The Hindu-Arabic system" [20], the numerals are "commonly spoken of as Arabic but preferably as Hindu-Arabic."
  • Definitely preferred by scholars, e.g., as per Peter Wardley [21]
"`Hindu-arabic' is preferred over `arabic' as a more accurate and useful description for two reasons: first, it places primacy on the region where this system of numerical representation had its origins, the Indian sub-continent; and, second, it draws attention to the difference between the numerals currently used in Arabic countries and those adopted by Europeans after the introduction of various adaptations. The latter, of course, has become the internationally accepted system of numerical representation."

I think the fact that articles in research papers and other encyclopedias (that are written by professional people who are rigorous scholars, who are paid a lot of money for their work, and who are held accountable for what they write, and are peer-reviewed at many levels) exclusively use the term "Hindu-Arabic numerals", has a lot of weight. deeptrivia (talk) 01:29, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Please have a look at the reasons, and put your objection in a terse form here:

  • Well if you want to talk about prefered , the majority of internet users prefer arabic numerals by 50 to 1 per google.--Astriolok 02:25, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Here, "Preferred" --> preferred for scholarly articles (like this one is intended to be) and not necessarily for common day-to day discourse. deeptrivia (talk) 02:47, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
  • The "google test" is not all that persuasive. There are a lot of terms that have a more popular usage, but we wouldn't make that the "official" title of an encyclopedia article. Especially when the name is ambiguous. Look at Native American for an example. A lot of people use the term as a blanket to cover all of the indigenous people of North America, but the article about that group is titled "Indigenous peoples of the Americas," which is certainly a much less widely used term, but it is used because it is the most accurate and most descriptive for an encyclopedia. You'll note that they also have articles of "Indigenous peoples of the United States," "Native Americans in the United States," and other breakdowns. Just because most people call them "Native Americans" or "Indians" doesn't meant that is the most appopriate title for the article about them. The same applies here. Peyna 02:51, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I also agree that the title should be changed to Hindu-Arabic numerals. It even says in my American C++ book that these numerals were Hindu and the arabs took them. --Dangerous-Boy 07:18, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Recent changes

Okay, I made some more changes. I added a disambig at the top for the main article on the numeral system; this article is about the numeral symbols. I removed most of the information regarding history (since it was about the numeral system) and information about the numeral system (because it is covered at Hindu-Arabic numeral system. The name of the article should be changed, and I might just go ahead and move it here in a little bit and put up a redirect soon. Peyna 03:16, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the good work, Peyna! deeptrivia (talk) 03:18, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Article moved

I went ahead and moved the article and made other appropriate changes. I am in the process of changing all incoming links to Arabic numerals to point here. Peyna 03:28, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks Peyna! Of course I'll give you a hand in redirecting incoming links. It's a lot of work! deeptrivia (talk) 03:30, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, there's a gazillion of them. I did this once before; when I put up a disambig for DES. I'll start at the bottom of the list and work my way up. Peyna 03:31, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I appreciate your hard work! deeptrivia (talk) 04:53, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

since what are known in English as "Arabic numerals" were neither invented nor widely used by the Arabs.

I'll cut a paste from my previous objection...

  • "... what are known in English as "Arabic numerals" were neither invented nor widely used by the Arabs.", "In the Arab World—until modern times—the Arabic numeral system was used only by mathematicians. Muslim scientists used the Babylonian numeral system, and merchants used a numeral system similar to the Greek numeral system and the Hebrew numeral system. Therefore, it was not until Fibonacci that the Arabic numeral system was used by a large population."
    • What reliable sources do you have that they were not widely used by the Arabs? Why don't you cite reliable sources? Here's evidence that they were : The numerals though were already in wide use throughout the Arab empire, as Avicenna who was born in 980 tells in his autobiography that he learnt them, as a child, from a humble vegetable seller. He also tells that when his father, in Bukhara, was visited by scholars from Egypt in 997, including Abu Abdullah al-Natili, they taught him more about them. J J O'Connor and E F Robertson point out: He also tells of being taught Indian calculation and algebra by a seller of vegetables. All this shows that by the beginning of the eleventh century calculation with the Indian symbols was fairly widespread and, quite significantly, was known to a vegetable trader.[22]
      • deeptrivia claimed to have a good source demonstrating that they were not widely used except by mathemeticians and traders. Peyna 03:49, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
        • I request to see this source. I also think that "mathematicians and traders" is widely enough; for God's sake even today illiteracy in rampant even in India itself, I don't expect the illiterates in India today to be using the Hindu numerals in their writings! csssclll (04:39, 15 December 2005 (UTC))
      • The very article you cite points out that in the Arab "business community" most people still used finger arithmetic as opposed to the numerals they learned from Indians. Peyna 03:53, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
        • The very article I cite points out the following "Despite many scholars finding calculating with Indian symbols helpful in their work, the business community continued to use their finger arithmetic throughout the tenth century"; that's the 900s!! That's in line with the following: Until Al-Uglidisi's work, written in Damascus in AD 952–953, the Indian numerals and arithmetics required the use of a sand board, which was an obstacle to their use in official manuscripts. As-Suli in the first half of the tenth Century: :Official scribes nevertheless avoid using [the Indian system] because it requires equipment [like a dust board] and they consider that a system that requires nothing but the members of the body is more secure and more fitting to the dignity of a leader.[23]. In his work cited above, Al-Uglidisi showed required modification to the numerals and arithmetics to make them suitable for use by pen and paper, which was a major improvement. And therefore in line with the above quote where J J O'Connor and E F Robertson point out: He also tells of being taught Indian calculation and algebra by a seller of vegetables. All this shows that by the beginning of the eleventh century calculation with the Indian symbols was fairly widespread and, quite significantly, was known to a vegetable trader.[24] csssclll (04:39, 15 December 2005 (UTC))
      • The very article you cite says that "...The passage itself, of course, would certainly suggest that few people in that part of the world knew anything of the system. " deeptrivia (talk) 04:05, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
        • "the passage itself" is from Severus Sebokht in 662 AD!
Well, it is already recognized that traders and mathematicians knew about the system. Traders were in fact the first to know such things because they came in contact with the East most frequently. Here, we are talking about widespread use of the system by common people. I mentioned even before this particular discussion started that since I don't have access to that reference any more (it was a book about history of astronomy), I would encourage others to find out citations. I agree that the above passage, which was not intended as a proof by me does not rule out the logical possibility of the numerals gaining popularity in Arabia by the 11th century. deeptrivia (talk) 04:52, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

If a reference can't be verified by others then it's of no use; it's not verifiable and therefore not reliable. I don't know what you mean by "common people", but I think it's fair to assume that many of them, if not most, were illiterate. The above "passage" is from 662, and therefore is irrelevant as an argument against one from "the beginning of the eleventh century". We don't need to "rule out logical possibility" here, we have evidence from "the beginning of the eleventh century" that the system was "fairly widespread and, quite significantly, was known to a vegetable trader", and I would consider a vegetable trader "common people", just as J J O'Connor and E F Robertson clearly do, and I wouldn't call "the beginning of the eleventh century", in any way, "modern times". csssclll (05:47, 15 December 2005 (UTC))
It seems a fairly obvious conclusion from these sources that these numerals were at some point (after the 10th century) widely used by the Arabs -Frogular 07:08, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I find serious fault with this phrasing

"Instead, they were developed in India by the Hindus around 400 BC. However, because it was the Arabs who brought this system to the West after the Hindu numerical system found its way to Persia, the numeral system became known as "Arabic" [1]. Arabs themselves call the numerals they use "Indian numerals", ????? ?????, arqam hindiyyah)."

The phrasing above as written is misleading because it seems to make the mistake of suggesting that the Arabs merely transmitted a system developed completely by the Hindus. Yes, the details belong in the history page, but the leading paragraph on the front article should acknowledge both the Indian origin and the Arab contributions and make that clear and explicit without misleading implications.

For example, from my previous objections:

He notes, however, that Al-Uqlidisi's work, Kitâb al-FusÞl fî al-Hisâb al-Hindî, "the earliest extant Arabic work of Hindu-Arabic arithmetic", written in Damascus in AD 952–953, showed “this system at its earliest stages and the first steps in its development.” (ibid, p. xi.), especially so that "The manuscript claimed to have a collection of all past knowledge on arithmetic" and "a clear exposition of what was currently known about the subject". Saidan also writes:

Whatever the case may be, it should be pointed out that Arabic works give no reference whatsoever to any Sanskrit text or Hindu arithmetician, nor do they quote any Sanskrit term or statement.[25]

This is in line with what Professor Lam Lay Yon, member of the International Academy of the History of Science, points out in her 1996 paper titled "The Development of Hindu-Arabic and Traditional Chinese Arithmetic":

There are no descriptions of the Hindu-Arabic numeral system and the fundamental operations of arithmetic among the early Hindu treatises. With the exception of the Bakhshali Manuscript, whose date is controversial (could be as late as the 12th century), the treatises do not use the Hindu-Arabic numerals to represent numbers. Rather, numbers are generally written in Sanskrit in a terse stanza form. The Aryabhatiya, written by Aryabhata (b. 476 AD), contains a description of an alphabetic notation for numerals.(Kripa S. Shukla (ed.), Aryabhatiya of Aryabhata (New Delhi: Indian National Science Academy, 1976), pp. 3–5; S. N. Sen, “Aryabhata’s Mathematics,” Bulletin of the National Institute of Sciences of India no. 21 (1962), pp. 298–305.)[26]

Until Al-Uglidisi's work, the Indian numerals and arithmetics required the use of a sand board, which was an obstacle to their use in official manuscripts. As-Suli in the first half of the tenth Century:

Official scribes nevertheless avoid using [the Indian system] because it requires equipment [like a dust board] and they consider that a system that requires nothing but the members of the body is more secure and more fitting to the dignity of a leader.[27]

In his work cited above, Al-Uglidisi showed required modification to the numerals and arithmetics to make them suitable for use by pen and paper, which was a major improvement.

Al-Uqlidisi book was also the earliest known text to offer treatment of decimal fraction.[28][29]

The numerals were mentioned in Syria in 662 AD by the Nestorian scholar Severus Sebokht who wrote:

I will omit all discussion of the science of the Indians, ... , of their subtle discoveries in astronomy, discoveries that are more ingenious than those of the Greeks and the Babylonians, and of their valuable methods of calculation which surpass description. I wish only to say that this computation is done by means of nine signs. If those who believe, because they speak Greek, that they have arrived at the limits of science, would read the Indian texts, they would be convinced, even if a little late in the day, that there are others who know something of value.[30]

Of prime importance in the Hindu-Arabic Numeral system is the use of 0 (zero). There are two different concepts here, the first is the use of zero as a place holder (a mathematical punctuation mark), and then as a number.

It should not be assumed that 0 was the invention of the Hindu-Arabic numeral system however, since the Babylonians were in fact the first known to use it. The 0 is thought by some to have come from O, which is omicron, the first letter in the Greek word for nothing, namely "ouden". An alternative theory is that it stood for "obol", a coin of almost no value, and that it arose when counters were used on sand board, so that a removed coin would leave a depression in the sand that looked like an O. Ptolemy, writing in 130 AD in his work the Almagest, used the Babylonian system with the empty place holder O, and "many historians of mathematics believe that the Indian use of zero evolved from its use by Greek astronomers".[31]

According to Professor EF Robertson and DR JJ O'Connor, "The first record of the Indian use of zero which is dated and agreed by all to be genuine was written in 876" on the Gwalior tablet stone[32]. This is also verified by Professor Lam Lay Yong, an an Effective Member of the International Academy of the History of Science "the earliest appearance in India of a symbol for zero in the Hindu-Arabic numeral system is found in an inscription at Gwalior which is dated 870 AD".[33]. According to Menninger (p. 400): "This long journey begins with the Indian inscription which contains the earliest true zero known thus far (Fig. 226). This famous text, inscribed on the wall of a small temple in the vicinity of Gvalior (near Lashkar in Central India) first gives the date 933 (A.D. 870 in our reckoning) in words and in Brahmi numerals. Then it goes on to list four gifts to a temple, including a tract of land "270 royal hastas long and 187 wide, for a flower-garden." Here, in the number 270 the zero first appears as a small circle (fourth line in the Figure); in the twentieth line of the inscription it appears once more in the expression "50 wreaths of flowers" which the gardeners promise to give in perpetuity to honor the divinity." The Encyclopaedia Britannica says, "Hindu literature gives evidence that the zero may have been known before the birth of Christ, but no inscription has been found with such a symbol before the 9th century."[34]. That's more than a century and a half after the Arab conquest of the Indus Delta region in 711.

Paraphrasing the page I'm linking to; 'In India before the Arabs, mathematics as an independent discipline did not exist as such, and mathematicians considered themselves astronomers, for that's what mathematics were for in India, whereas for the ancient Greeks, and afterwards the Arabs, the guardians of Greek culture before the European Renaissance, mathematics existed and was studied for its own sake. Hindu mathematics, unlike Greek, lacked deduction, rigurous demonstration, proofs or derivations'. This is a very major difference, as "it was the mathematicians, rather than the astronomers, who ultimately ensure the almost universal adoption of the Hindu-Arabic numerals".[35] Project: The history of Indian numerals Written by: Berat Jusufi, Jon-Fredrik Stryker, Vegard Larsen. It should also be noted, from the page, "It is now universally accepted that our decimal numbers derive from forms, which were invented in India and transmitted via Arab culture to Europe, undergoing a number of changes on the way. We also know that several different ways of writing numbers evolved in India before it became possible for existing decimal numerals to be marred with the place-value principle of the Babylonians to give birth to the system which eventually became the one which we use today.", which relates to the point I reported above that talk about the Indian numerals should be restricted to the nine symbols (1-9) as 0 symbol has Babylonian and then Greek origin, and the fusion of the 10 symbols was made by the Arabs. It also makes clear that there had been "changes" on the way of transmission.

The leap to conclusion "How the numbers came to the Arabs can be read in the work of al-Qifti's "Chronology of the scholars", which was written around the end the 12th century but quoted earlier sources (see [1]): ... a person from India presented himself before the Caliph al-Mansur in the year 776 who..." is ludicrous. It's shameful. The critical fallaciousness here is stark; it smacks both of ignorance and of uneducated reasoning, in fact, lack of reasoning. The numbers were known before that, in fact, before the rise of the Arab nation, and even to the West of the Arab homeland as the quote below from a Syrian monk makes clear. In addition, the significance of the event cited is magnified multifold out of context and slanted in conclusion, as the following quote, for example, makes clear "The Romans, who took over later on didn't appreciate Euclid. There is no record of a translation of the Elements into Latin until 480 A.D. But the Arabs were more perceptive. A copy was given to the Caliph by the Byzantine emperor in A.D. 760, and the first Latin translation that still survives was actually made from the Arabic in Bath, England, in 1120. From that point on, the study of geometry grew again in the West, thanks to the Arabs." Greek Science after Aristotle, Michael Fowler [36]. What's clear is that the Arabs had an organised infrastructure of translators, scribes, scientists and lovers of knowledge that served the world well. It's should also be clear that, as would happen whenever such a movement of extensive translation from multiple and varied sources would occur, that a lot of fusion and significant innovation would also occur that would create original knowledge, and history as documented by scientific evidence and scientific consenses, and not nationalist propaganda on wikipedia, is testament to that in cases such as that of the Arabs and of the European Renaissance. J J O'Connor and E F Robertson make this point quite well:

We should emphasise that the translations into Arabic at this time were made by scientists and mathematicians such as those named above, not by language experts ignorant of mathematics, and the need for the translations was stimulated by the most advanced research of the time. It is important to realise that the translating was not done for its own sake, but was done as part of the current research effort.

If this helps, we all agree that Arabs were great mathematicians, they were the best, and they used these numerals for some great research in algebra, geometry, or whatever you want, but what does it have to do with this article about numerals? You can put these details in articles about Algebra etc, if they are missing from there.
I don't care if they were great or crap, I don't care if it was Arab, Indian, Russian or Martian. Here's what I care about: what's true, what's false, and what's misleading, that's all I care about, and this article should be based on what the mathematical and scientific community regards as true, avoid what's false and misleading, and it should abide by Wikipedia policies of being neutral and based on reliable sources. user:csssclll:csssclll (05:25, 15 December 2005 (UTC))
Great! Now start following what you preach! deeptrivia (talk) 05:47, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Look, I acknowledge it when you do a good thing, I expect the same respect. We have been getting along quite well over these past couple of days, let's not make things bad again, please. Of all people, you should know that I practiced and preached it all along. Of all people it's you who should know! Here, remember your "parting remarks" and my reply to them? remember your editing summary "2 December 2005 Deeptrivia (atleast on wikipedia, we can remove the "Arabic" POV)"? Remember my reply to it in the page history? "3 December 2005 Csssclll (It's not about "Arabic" POV or Indian one, it's about scientific evidence. I don't care about your POV, where's your scientific evidence?! Provide that and we'll have something.)"[37]. You have been citing sources these past copule of days on a point-by-point basis, I have already praised you for that, but please, acknowledge that it was I was first on this page to cite evidence on a point-by-point basis, and that I have been requesting it all along, and that from the start, as these editing summaries point out from ~2 weeks ago, I have been consistent in emphasising the importance of scientific evidence. csssclll (07:00, 15 December 2005 (UTC))
  • Please refrain from pasting large chunks of text here. It causes a lot of inconvenience. You can always post the URL.
I did consider linking and decided against it, as I cut and pasted from serveral previous texts, and edited what I cut and pasted, and it would've been more confusing for the reader to do so. I think it's justified when I'm listing various arguments that are in objection, yes, it's a lot of text, but that's because there's a whole lot that's wrong with the phrasing of that sentence! user:csssclll:csssclll (05:25, 15 December 2005 (UTC))
  • The numerical system was transferred as such, which is what the sentence says, only the symbols changed with time. Maybe we can make this more clear in the article. The sentence is from an earlier version of the article that talked about numeral systems, that's why it said this.
The above text I presented and its verifiable and reliable sources indicates this was clearly *not* the case. You're claiming that "The numerical system was transferred as such, which is what the sentence says, only the symbols changed with time.", the above text and its its verifiable and reliable sources make clear that the system underwent significant changes. user:csssclll:csssclll (05:25, 15 December 2005 (UTC))
List the changes. The Indian system was already decimal, positional, included a zero. What did Arabs add? They just modified the signs, which is bound to happen over time. deeptrivia (talk) 05:47, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Did you read what I wrote above? Please stop doing this. You have been good for a couple of days now, whereas before you used to do this same thing you're doing here above; from my reply to your "parting remarks" of 3 December 2005 "Then, you're saying "it would be only nice if you could specify on this page what exactly you found incorrect or POV in the previous edition of the article". Are you blind?! Can't you see that I already did that, at length?!?! You're not blind, and you know too well that I did, because I did so, at length, with tedious evidence, and you replied to it with a one line rant." csssclll (07:00, 15 December 2005 (UTC))
You have NOT shown us a single change that arabs made to the numeral system. I accepted again and again that they changed the symbols over the course of centuries, and that this "contribution" should be talk about in this article, but the numeral system was transferred as such by Arabs. The decimal point notation (use of "."), in fact is the only change that has happened to the system, and it was made by Bartholemaeus Pitiscus, a name that doesn't sound Arab to me. I agree that your details about how the Arabs shifted the symbols by 90 degree etc, must definitely be included in the article History of the Hindu-Arabic numerals (not History of the Hindu-Arabic numeral system) or if we decide to have a history section here. deeptrivia (talk) 15:51, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Why do you choose to ignore what the article says before this in great detail (about evolution of the digit zero in India, Brahmagupta's (6th century) rules regarding mathematical operations on zero (undisputed by all historians), various inscriptions from 4th-6th centuries, that some historians debate, but according to the article's author, "might well be true.")
Why do you choose to ignore and even cut out statements of scientific consensus on what constitutes indisputable evidence and instead prefer what "might well be true" that many debate and dispute?! You seem to like J J O'Connor and E F Robertson, yet you cut out their sentence that clearly indicates scientific consensus "The first record of the Indian use of zero which is dated and agreed by all to be genuine was written in 876", and you seem to like Brittanica, yet you clearly cut out their sentence that's quite clear "Hindu literature gives evidence that the zero may have been known before the birth of Christ, but no inscription has been found with such a symbol before the 9th century.", and also, what do you have against Professor Professor Lam Lay Yong? You seem to be disputing the statement of an Effective Member of the International Academy of the History of Science when she stated it in 1996 that "the earliest appearance in India of a symbol for zero in the Hindu-Arabic numeral system is found in an inscription at Gwalior which is dated 870 AD", and who also afterwards "was awarded the Kenneth O. May medal in 2001, the highest honour given by the International Commission on the History of Mathematics once every four years. Dr Lam was not only the first Asian but also the first woman to win it. As a benchmark of intellectual peaks, this prize shares company with the Fields Medal and the Nevanlinna Prize, respectively the highest award for achievement in mathematics and theoretical computer science. The two latter awards are presented by the International Mathematical Union (IMU), a body whose intended obscurity is sometimes disturbed by the fame of such numbers-magicians as Stephen Hawking and John (A Beautiful Mind) Nash."[38]
I would NEVER cut off such a sentence. It is important to have it in the article. Did I say it should not be mentioned? You have been insisting that this sentence means that we conclude that there is no history of use of zero in India before the 9th century, which is rubbish. deeptrivia (talk) 05:47, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Why do you cut out her statement of what scientific consensus is?! Really, why? user:csssclll:csssclll (05:25, 15 December 2005 (UTC))
Did I? When? I CLEARLY mentioned it in History of the Hindu-Arabic numeral system, on Wikiquette forum etc. You have failed to understand what this article says, or what the consensus is. In simplest words, the earliest existing'..inscription, whose dating is not doubted by any historian, is from 876. That's all it says, and rest is your wishful thinking.
  • Please read the article on zero to make clear the distinction between "zero as a concept" and "zero as a numerical digit." This article intends to talk about zero as a numerical digit, although we may mention that the concept of zero existed in Greek civilization before. Hindus were first to append 0 as a decimal digit to their nine digits. This is what matters in this article, which is about numbers. deeptrivia (talk) 04:38, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I disagree, please see the above text. user:csssclll:csssclll (05:25, 15 December 2005 (UTC))
The statement developed in India by the Hindus around 400 BC is completely false. You cannot claim that when the earliest dated use of the symbol 0 in Hindu sources is 870 AD. Hindu literature gives evidence that the zero may have been known before the birth of Christ - this is inconclusive. On the first count, the statement is qualified with a may. On the second count, it could be refering to the concept, not the symbol, of 0. I haven't yet figured out who actually developed the symbol 0 (Hindus or Arabs), but it most certainly wasn't the Hindus around 400 BC. -Frogular 07:11, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
It's not "completely false", it's just not conclusively proven , like *most* things about ancient history. And that doesn't mean it would not be mentioned in the article. We can qualify it with a "probably" or a "may", but it would be stupid to ask to remove it. There are no conclusive proofs in archaeology and ancient history. deeptrivia (talk) 07:14, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
My apologies for that - you are right that there are no absolute conclusive proofs. However, given the conclusive evidence for 870 AD, I would prefer rephrasing the sentence such that 870 AD is the primary linguistic concept. Something along the lines of "the earliest usage of these symbols date back to 870 AD, though it is possible they were used as early as X" -Frogular 07:23, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Brahmagupta's work, for example, is not disputed. The 876 AD thing is the earliest existing inscription, that is, letters engraved in stone. Literature written well before 9th century, that uses zero exists (like Brahmasphutasiddhanta), but we don't have the "original", written by the hands of Brahmagupta himself (which is quite understandable. Text was written on leaves that last at most 100 years), therefore there is a relevance in talking about the stone inscription. It is very well known (trust me I've read a lot about the history of zero), that by 6th century CE, zero was very much in use. There is no debate about the use of zero by 6th century, the debate is about earliest inscription that uses a zero. deeptrivia (talk) 07:36, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Also note: I don't know of any evidence that zero digit was used by 400BC! If the statement suggests that, it should be changed. The numeral symbols for 1..9 from which the modern numerals are evolved, were in use by 400 BC. This is something which is not debated by anyone. deeptrivia (talk)
This is possibly a POV problem. I propose this for an intro text:
Hindu-Arabic numerals are commonly known as "Arabic numerals"; however the usage of this term requires some clarification, since what are colloquially known as "Arabic numerals" were invented by the Indians. The earliest record of these numerals' use is dated to 870 AD in India, and have potentially been in use before the 7th century. The numerals became known as "Arabic" because it was the Arabs who introduced this system to Europe after they adapted it from the Indians. The Arabs call the numerals they use "Indian numerals", أرقام هندية, arqam hindiyyah). -Frogular 07:53, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Who invented the symbol 0 as used in the Hindu-Arabic numeral/symbol set? The Indians knew and used zero. Did they use it as the symbol 0 in the same way the Arabs did? It seems like my intro paragraph addresses 1-9 and not 0. -Frogular 08:01, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Please understand:
  1. There is no dispute, and no dearth of records, including inscriptions containing symbols 1..9 (excluding 0) from centuries well before Christ.[39]
  2. There are many books , which historians unanimously date between 4th and 7th centuries that contain zero.
  3. There are many inscriptions (engraved on stone) containing zero from the 8th century, that some historians dispute.
  4. The first inscription containing zero that no one disputes is dated 876.

Please read in full detail this reference.

Other comments:

First invented by Indians : They were invented only once. After which they were copied. There is absolutely no one in the world disputing this, saying that by sheer coincidence, someone else also "invented" the same symbols.
"The earliest record of these numerals' use is dated to 870 AD in India, and may have been in use before the 7th century." Anyone who knows about the subject will have a good laugh, and would spread the word that wikipedia is not a reliable source, which would not be good for the project. The 876 one is the earliest existing (keyword 1) inscription (keyword 2) containing a zero (keyword 3). That's all it is. deeptrivia (talk) 08:08, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Then help me rephrase it. I already corrected the "first" in my previous post, it was an oversight.
Hindu-Arabic numerals are commonly known as "Arabic numerals"; however the usage of this term requires some clarification, since what are colloquially known as "Arabic numerals" were invented by the Indians. The earliest record of these numerals' use is dated to 876 AD in India, and were in use as early as the 4th century. The numerals became known as "Arabic" because it was the Arabs who introduced this system to Europe after they adapted it from the Indians. The Arabs call the numerals they use "Indian numerals", أرقام هندية, arqam hindiyyah). -Frogular 08:16, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
How about this:
Hindu-Arabic numerals are commonly known as "Arabic numerals"; however the term "Hindu-Arabic numerals" is preferred in a more formal usage, since what are colloquially known as "Arabic numerals" were invented by the Indians. There are evidences, that an early form of the system, which did not contain a symbol for zero, was in use as early as around third century BCE. The beginning of use of zero is a bit unclear: it is believed to be added around fifth century, although the earliest existing inscription showing the use of zero accepted by all historians is dated to 876 AD in India. There are inscriptions predating this, however, from places that were not in India, but were in Indian cultural sphere[40]. The numerals became known as "Arabic" because it was the Arabs who introduced this system to Europe after they adapted it from the Indians. The Arabs call the numerals they use "Indian numerals", أرقام هندية, arqam hindiyyah).
I have a copy of Dorling Kindersley's Children's Illustrated Encyclopedia, and it says something like: "The numbers we use today were invented by Hindus around 200BC. By 400 AD, they modified it to include a zero." The authors of this encyclopedia didn't even consider it appropriate enough to talk about the fact that some historians dispute some inscriptions. Honestly, I don't know how many and which historians dispute it (maybe just one historian), and whether the mainstream scholarship actually consider them disputed or not. deeptrivia (talk) 15:38, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
And my childcraft children's encyclopedia told me that the Arabs invented 0-9. Go to Google Scholar and search for "history mathematical notation" you'll find what is considered an authoritative book by Florian Cajori on the subject. You can only read the table of contents [41], but the contents' first entry relating to Hindu-Arabic notation is "Brahmagupta, Seventh century". Florian Cajori's book has many citations on Google Scholar. A quote from his biography [42] A History of Mathematical Notations, 2 volumes (1928-29) is undoubtedly Cajori's greatest work. Zund writes in [8] that it:... is simply monumental and remains unsurpassed in its detail and meticulous scholarship ...
From page 47:
"Early Hindu mathematicians, Aryabhata (b. 476 A.D) and Brahmagupta (b. 598 A.D), do not give the expected information about the Hindu-Arabic numerals. Aryabhata's work, called Aryabhatiya, is composed of three parts, in only the first of which use is made of a special notation of numbers. It is an alphabetical system in which the twenty-five consonants represent 1-25, respectively; other letters stand for 30, 40, ...100, etc. <skipping some text> Another alphabetic system prevailed in Southern India, the numbers 1-19, being designated by consonants, etc."
Further down the same page:
"Nor do inscriptions, coins, and other manuscripts throw light on the origin of our numerals. Of the old notations the most important is the Brahmi notation which did not observe place value and in which 1, 2, and 3 are represented by ?, ?, ?. The forms of the Brahmi numbers do not resemble the forms in early place-value notations of the Hindu-Arabic numerals."
Alright, before Aryabhata in the 5th century, symbols used to represent the system were not nine (or ten, for that matter) symbols that looked anything like 0-9. They had 25 symbols for 1-25, and more for 30, 40, etc. The book even goes on to say that the forms of Brahmi numbers do not resemble the forms in early place-value notations of the Hindu-Arabic numerals. Where did 200 BC for symbols come from? -Frogular 19:17, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
deeptrivia, I just realized that I don't actually have a problem with your revised version of my suggested intro text. I only had a problem with the statement "The numbers we use today were invented by Hindus around 200BC. By 400 AD, they modified it to include a zero." -Frogular 19:37, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Tired of fixing page display

Did any of you notice the empty gap in the middle of the page? How long are you planning on leaving it there? --Vertaloni 06:31, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing out Vertaloni! Once we fix all the links, the focus will be on improving the article, and you're most welcome to contribute! Cheers :) deeptrivia (talk) 06:36, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Can I suggest that the place to start is the opening section: if anyone is brave enough to try to summarize the kB of (mostly) scholarly discussion on this talk page... Physchim62 (talk) 16:05, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Made some improvements to the article

It is starting to make some sense , though it needs more work particularly in the history timeline.--Astriolok 18:24, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Deeptrivia, Al-Khwarizmi was an Arab

Deeptrivia, here's a little trivia for you, an Arab is a linguistic designation, and most of the time is *not* a racial designation. Al-Khwarizmi, Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi, is an Arab, regardless of where his ancestry or parents may have come from; he lived in Baghdad and worked in its House of Wisdom, he spoke Arabic and wrote his manuscripts in Arabic, and some historians, like Al-Tabari say he was born near Baghdad though his ancestors were from Persia. There's no contradiction in that, him being both Persian and Arab, just like someone from Sudan is both a Black African and an Arab, or someone from Algeria is both a Berber and an Arab. Here's another trivia, the "Arab" army that invaded Spain in 711 AD was ~ 4% ethnic Arabs (ie, ~96% non-Arabs), yet it's called the "Arab invasion of Spain". It really doesn't matter, if you speak Arabic, you're an Arab, and anyone from India, Malaysia or Indonesia, or anywhere else can become an Arab if they want to. This recently happened with the Comoros Islands, which is situated between Mozambique and Madagascar[43]; it is now a member of the Arab League. Here's an article by an Arab Jew that explains this, I think it's worth reading if you want to understand what "Arab" means[44]. csssclll (05:05, 17 December 2005 (UTC))

Encyclopædia Britannica and all the other major encyclopedias point where he was born is Khwarazm located in Transoxania (Great Khorasan). The fact that nearlly all his works where in Arabic was simply because (unfortunately) the scientific language on that time because of initial suppression of Persian language was Arabic as many other Persian scientist wrote some of their books in Arabic however things started to change after compilation of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh where Perian became once again the Scientific language in Iran. This case is not uncommon, its a tradition where Arab nationalist call some of the Persian scientists Arab. Avicenna is a good example of this manner. Amir85 12:01, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
That's not true, Encyclopædia Britannica clearly points out that he was born in Baghdad[45]. csssclll (10:01, 17 December 2005 (UTC))
Designating Al-Khwarizmi as Persian is more appropriate, and the change has already been made by deeptrivia. -Frogular 06:52, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

What in God's name is wrong with calling Khwarazmi of Persian origin, if not Persian? Heck, if he is an Arab simply because he lived in Baghdad, then why does Ahmed H. Zewail's name appear on the List of Arabs? Isn't he an American naturalized citizen?--Zereshk 08:27, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Reply to Frogular, Amir85, and Zereshk, I was pointing out to Deeptrivia what the problem was with his statement in his edit summary: "08:20, 16 December 2005 Deeptrivia (?Origins of the symbols - Al Khwarizmi is NOT Arab, Iranians will be disgusted)" Why wouldn't he be Arab? It's not known for sure that he was born in Persia, some historians say that and his parents migrated to Baghdad while he was a child, though even so it could be that, as his name suggests, Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Musa ibn Shakir Al-Khwarizmi, and the fact that his father was a high official in the palace, that he's of Arab origin despite being born in Persia, others - in fact, perhaps most - say he was born in Baghdad itself or near it; Brittanica itself states that he was born in Baghdad (see the first link)[46][47][48][49][50], but what is certain is that he had an Arabic name, Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Musa ibn Shakir Al-Khwarizmi, he lived and worked in Baghdad most if not all of his life, not in Persia, he spoke and wrote in Arabic, not Persian, and scholars widely consider him an Arab mathematician. Why wouldn't he be Arab? user:csssclll:csssclll (10:01, 17 December 2005 (UTC))
Also, I request your opinion on this Talk:History_of_the_Hindu-Arabic_numeral_system#Deeptrivia.2C_did_you_make_a_racist_slur.3F.21 user:csssclll:csssclll (11:53, 17 December 2005 (UTC))

csssclll 's edits

It seems clear by now that csssclll is dedicated to introducing falsehoods into this article . He keep trying to give spin the numerals as an being an Arab product despite clear evidence that Arabs had little to do with the numerals , beyond a few books being written on the subject of Indian Numerals and those books then being translated into Latin by Europeans. csssclll is trying to insert the spin that the Arabs modified the glyphs , when they did not. They did not even adopt the numerals themselves. Astriolok

Astriolok, the Europeans learned about the numerals from Arabian books, so Arabs had a role in transmission of the numerals, which ought to be mentioned. Please acknowledge that.deeptrivia (talk) 16:33, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Astriolok, you have not tried to resolve your gripes with the version you disagree with on the talk page, and reverted back to your preferred version of the intro text, not just once, but four times [51][52][53][54] in 24 hours, conveniently leaving out any reference to reverting in the edit summary 3 out of the 4 times. There is a reason the scholarly term is "Hindu-Arabic numerals" (yes, "Hindu" comes before "Arabic" because credit is given where credit is due), not "Hindu numerals" nor "Arabic numerals". Please assume that the editors for the version you disagree with are not intentionally trying to aggravate you but are making the edits in good faith. -Frogular 17:31, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Yes indeed , the numerals were transmitted via the books written on the topic by Al-Khwarizmi, and Al-kindi etc and that is part of the version I support but just because someone writes a book on cars does not mean that they invented or modified cars which is clearly the implication csss wants to introduce. As far as resolving the gripes on the talk page I have had discussions on the talk page for months , some of which have conveniently been blanked out by some , others which are apparantly conveniently disregarded. I am interested in accuracy in Wikipedia not revisionism which seems to be the goal on the part of some editors.--Astriolok 17:46, 17 December 2005 (UTC)


Hi folks, looks like this article has been busy. I would suggest moving back to Arabic numerals per Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names). Furthermore on disputes Assume Good Faith. If I can help, please let me know. Rich Farmbrough. 15:18, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Just to expand a bit, further to converstion with Deeptrivia, the MoS reommends the common name for the title, and the more "scholarly" for the text. At the moment we have it the other way round. Rich Farmbrough. 16:11, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I think we basically have to choose between Wikipedia:Naming conventions (precision) and Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) among other things. I'll be interested to know what others think. deeptrivia (talk) 16:16, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
That's a tough choice... if I could split my vote, it would be 0.51 for Arabic numerals and 0.49 for Hindu-Arabic numerals. heh heh. -Frogular 16:52, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Hi, I vote to retain Hindu-Arabic, especially as there are two Wikipedia conventions split over this - if you remove Hindu, you discredit a whole culture's root contribution to the genesis of mathematics, even if you didn't mean to do so.

Jai Sri Rama!

Rama's Arrow 17:26, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Hindu-Arabic is fine, although it would be correctly stated as Hindu -Numerals unless someone can make a case for what part the arabs actually had in the numerals besides having written a few books on the topic of Indian Numerals.--Astriolok 17:48, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Vote for title

we need a vote. Support moving to Arabic numerals, or oppose to keep at Hindu-Arabic numerals (comment: we vote between titles, not between actions. mikka (t) 20:23, 17 December 2005 (UTC))

I think it is fair enough to reiterate here the reasons we had originally for name change. The change in article name was done with consensus, and was based on the following reasons:

  • "Arabic numeral" is a very common colloquial term for Hindu-Arabic (so fits one of the many criteria for naming on wikipedia), but it's not appropriate in the more formal context of the title of an encyclopedia article, which should be more rigorous in reflecting academic norms.
  • All other encyclopedias like Britannica [55], refer to the symbols exclusively as "Hindu-Arabic" everywhere they are mentioned. Articles in research papers and other encyclopedias (that are written by professional people who are rigorous scholars, who are paid a lot of money for their work, who are held accountable for what they write, and are peer-reviewed at many levels) exclusively use the term "Hindu-Arabic numerals".
  • According to another article on Britannica, titled "The Hindu-Arabic system" [56], the numerals are "commonly spoken of as Arabic but preferably as Hindu-Arabic."
  • Definitely preferred by scholars, e.g., as per Peter Wardley [57]
"`Hindu-arabic' is preferred over `arabic' as a more accurate and useful description for two reasons: first, it places primacy on the region where this system of numerical representation had its origins, the Indian sub-continent; and, second, it draws attention to the difference between the numerals currently used in Arabic countries and those adopted by Europeans after the introduction of various adaptations. The latter, of course, has become the internationally accepted system of numerical representation."

"Arabic Numerals" title

  • Support move to Arabic numerals, per MoS. -lethe talk 17:53, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

"Hindu-Arabic numerals" title

  1. This was already decided in the past (not all that long ago either); Hindu-Arabic is the more appropriate Academic name for the numerals. Relevant discussion should be above or archived. Peyna 18:09, 17 December 2005 (UTC). Also, the more common name is covered through a re-direct and fully covered in the article. Peyna 18:11, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
  2. The article's rightful name is Hindu-Arabic numerals. Jai Sri Rama! Rama's Arrow 19:07, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
  3. Although, I am not sure whether Wikipedia:Naming conventions (precision) overrides Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) or not, it is clear that in formal usage, like in a research paper or an encyclopedia title [58] (or anywhere in an encyclopedia text), "Hindu-Arabic numerals" is universally preferred over "Arabic numerals" deeptrivia (talk) 19:12, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
  4. Hindu-Arabic is fine, although it would be correctly stated as Hindu -Numerals unless someone can make a case for what part the arabs actually had in the numerals besides having written a few books on the topic of Indian Numerals.--Astriolok 17:48, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
  5. Another possibility is Indo-Arabic numerals, used for example by Georges Ifrah. "Hindu" numerals is not a good name, because they are not tied to the Hindu religion. ("Hindu" was once used to refer to the native inhabitants of India, but that is no longer the case.) Rather, each Indic script has its own version of what could be called Indic numerals - but this is a broader conception than Hindu-Arabic/Indo-Arabic. Call me crazy, but I think Arabic numerals should refer to the set of numerals used when writing Arabic. kwami 23:39, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
  6. Hindu-Arabic is accurate. I would be against it if Arabic had become so standard that people would be consfused by the new term, but it hasn´t as Britannica uses it. So, go for the more correct one. Subramanian talk 02:18, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
  7. My position still hasn't changed. I still believe (now stronger than ever) that Arabic numerals should be moved to Hindu-Arabic numerals. We had a vote before, there is no need for another one, it should be moved staight away. It must be considered vandalism if someone now moves it back after we had a vote on it. DaGizza Chat (c) 04:05, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
  8. I again vote for the name to be Hindu-Arabic as the Hindus invented the numeral system and the Arabs trasnmitted to the rest of the world. Raj2004 12:56, 18 December 2005 (UTC)


I just visited this page and don't plan to stick around. What saddens me though, is that a serious discussion about the proper name for this article is turning into a Hindu nationalist argument. Nothing good happens when people with strong nationalistic tendencies try to force things one way or another, be that Arab nationalists, or Hindu nationalists, or any other kind. Please try to keep the debate in the appropriate venue. That applies to votes 2 and 4 above. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 19:51, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree that this debate was very politicized. However, let's just focus on getting a decision on the referendum.

Rama's Arrow 20:14, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

There seems to be some misunderstanding of Wikipedia here. There are no referendums on Wikipedia and polls are not binding. One reasonable comment is worth more than a thousand unsubstantiated votes. Zocky 13:22, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree, that's why we worked on, and developed a consensus earlier. deeptrivia (talk) 18:14, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Arabs claiming other culture's contributions as their own

I have noticed a tendency while editing in Wikipedia of a certain number of seemingly Arab editors trying to word the text of many articles in such a way as to claim the contributions of non-arabs as their own. This has been readily apparent in the Arabic Numerals series of articles but also in many other pages too. Has anyone else noticed this or am I misinterpreting what I have seen? --Astriolok 17:58, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

There's a reason that the Greek star names are found in English in Arabicized form: Much of "pagan" Greco-Roman learning would have been lost to the world if the Arabs hadn't appreciated it and preserved it. European civilization didn't pass from Greece and Rome to Renaissance Europe; it passed from Greece and Rome to the Arabs to Renaissance Europe. Likewise, it's due to the Arabs that the Indian numbering system spread to the rest of the world. In Venice, merchants had to keep two sets of accounting books: One with Roman numerals to show government inspectors, who thought the concept of zero was the work of the Devil, and one with Arabic numerals so that they could actually be used for accounting. Arabs may not have invented these things, but the world owes them for much of its civilization. I think it's entirely appropriate to give credit where credit is due. kwami 23:49, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree with kwami above. deeptrivia (talk) 23:58, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I totally agree also. Just a question to Astriolok; how could you deferentiate between an Arab editor and a non-arab?! I am one of them (in case there are many!) and never edited this article! -- Svest 04:15, 18 December 2005 (UTC)  Wiki me up&#153;
Astriolok's statement is very serious. I don't think it should have been made without serious and extensive proof. No matter what a few individuals may do, every remark that fuels the fire of racial or religious prejudice should be avoided unless the facts are very much clear, and then only to take decisive and consensual action. Subramanian talk 15:09, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
We'll be glad to hear about those proofs instead of talking vaguely. Cheers -- Svest 20:48, 18 December 2005 (UTC)  Wiki me up&#153;
I reserve the right to state what I have observed regarless of any existing dogma of political correctness which some wikipedia editors may cling to in their cowed dishonesty. And for your information it is better to state the unvarnished truth even if it is unpalatable to some. Astriolok

Admin supervision

I request people to not act arbitrarily especially when there is a legitimate discussion under way.

I hope an administrator will supervise this vote and debate, coz its gettin' unruly.

Jai Sri Rama!

Rama's Arrow 20:15, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

I request that people do not act arbitrarily first and then talking and twisting other's arms in such controversial issues. mikka (t) 20:19, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Also, please keep in mind that such votes must be announced at Wikipedia:Requested moves. I did it for you now. mikka (t) 20:36, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

The action was not arbitrary as there was a discussion that took place and consensus reached. Just because you showed up late and didn't like the result doesn't mean you can change the name back. I suggest you fix all of the redirects and wikilinks that we spent all the time fixing the last time we moved this. If you aren't prepared to take that step, you shouldn't have moved the page. Peyna 21:40, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

A consensus between 2-3 active editors on such general topics is reasonably considered as POV-pushing, especially seeing these heated revert wars. A proper way is to announce the intentions at Wikipedia:Requested moves for broader participation. Sorry for not fixing redirects. I started doing this, but was distracted by another war. mikka (t) 21:48, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
Editors who supported earlier: User:kwamikagami, User:DaGizza, User:Frogular (changed later to weak support), User:Subramanian, User:Raj2004, User:Peyna, and User:deeptrivia (myself).
Oppose: User:Vertaloni (Vertaloni, what is your opinion now?)
No one even requested that the discussion be reopened. User:csssclll went to the admins with an entirely different problem. He himself calls these "Hindu-Arabic numerals." Of course, I cannot say what he will now claim his problem was. deeptrivia (talk) 21:57, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
No one? Why this vote, then? During my occasional peeks into the page I've seen a frenetic revert war, in which the intro was drastically changed with respect to mentioning "hundu".
If there will be a good majority again or no one else will bother to join the discussion, then there is no harm for it to sit without move for one more week, to close the issue formally once and for all. mikka (t) 22:53, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't know why are we voting again. There indeed was a revert war between User:Astriolok and User:csssclll, but I don't think it was about addition or removal of "Hindu-". I just hope the reopened issue gets resolved soon, without much more time and effort getting wasted. deeptrivia (talk) 23:07, 17 December 2005 (UTC)
The revert war had nothing to do with the title; the title was changed as a side issue to that revert war. Peyna 02:33, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
My position still hasn't changed. I still believe (now stronger than ever) that Arabic numerals should be moved to Hindu-Arabic numerals. We had a vote before, there is no need for another one, it should be moved staight away. It must be considered vandalism if someone now moves it back after we had a vote on it. DaGizza Chat (c) 04:05, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Talk:Hindu-Arabic_numerals/Archive_01#Arabic_Numerals.2C_what_are_they.3F csssclll (22:41, 18 December 2005 (UTC))


Whatever your decision, please keep in mind the tradition of wikipedia to make titles in singular rather than plural, for a number of reasons. mikka (t) 21:48, 17 December 2005 (UTC)


According to a consensus of opinions expressed by people like DaGizza, Kwamikagami, Subramanian, Raj2004, Deeptrivia, Peyna and myself, I've reverted the title to Hindu-Arabic numerals.

I ask all participants in this debate to honor this title for the time being. The previous status quo was not similarly acceptable as it was completely arbitrary. This was the agreed-to title.

I have no intentions of undercutting this debate or increasing the heat, but simply honoring a prior decision which was taken last week.

I sincerely hope an administrator will watch these proceedings.

Jai Sri Rama!

Rama's Arrow 17:04, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Please don't speak of "consensus" when there is active disagreement that you choose to omit. The decision taken last week was esssentially Deeptrivia's (find "redirect" on this page) and acted upon in a rush and without gatheting "consensus" despite strong, clear and reasonable opposition from many editors. If there is any consensus that's worth a relevance it is the conensus amongst the English speakers en masse that 1, 2, 3 are "Arabic numerals". csssclll (22:56, 18 December 2005 (UTC))

Parting words

Since I've been involved with this debate for awhile, I feel I ought to let everyone know I have decided to leave this debate, for numerous reasons, not the least of which is the attitude of a lot of the parties involved. First off, I entered this discussion to try to reach some kind of compromise and end the needless revert war. Instead, it has turned into some kind of ethnic/racist issue with people calling in their friends to bolster their point of view. Second, the discussion has rarely been civil. Finally, I'm tired of the reverting and lack of honest discussion. The issue needs resolved, but the current group of people have no interest in resolving this conflict. Therefore, I am withdrawing my participation in this discussion and you may ignore or make use of any prior comments I have made. Good luck, and for Wikipedia's sake, please resolve this. Peyna 17:46, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

It's unfortunate that it went this way, and I have myself felt like stopping wasting my time on it. But I hope it will finally end now, and I really appreciate your valuable inputs into the discussion. Thanks! deeptrivia (talk) 18:13, 18 December 2005 (UTC)