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View Full Version : how to write 1990 in roman numerals


Arnold Winkelried
05-23-2007, 02:19 PM
The column mentions automatic number translation via software

What is the proper way to style Roman numerals for the 1990s? (23-Feb-1990) (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a3_375.html)

The Oracle database software (to_char function, RN number format element) does the following:
1990 - MCMXC
1999 - MCMXCIX
3999 - highest number translated to roman numerals, everything after that shows up as "overflow"

JeffB
05-23-2007, 02:51 PM
Excel provides five options for converting to Roman format, also with 3999 being the highest converted:

1990 MCMXC MLMXL MXM MXM MXM
1999 MCMXCIX MLMVLIV MXMIX MVMIV MIM
3999 MMMCMXCIX MMMLMVLIV MMMXMIX MMMVMIV MMMIM

Elendil's Heir
05-23-2007, 02:58 PM
It seems to me that, where each answer is equally "right" given the ambiguities of ancient Latin, why not use the shortest notation? Thus, "MXM" for 1990, and IMM for 1999.

I remember M&M Mars trumpeting the "Year of M [and] M" in 2000. :D

essell
05-23-2007, 05:27 PM
It seems to me that, where each answer is equally "right" given the ambiguities of ancient Latin, why not use the shortest notation?...

Yes. Why not. Why not let all the Scott Tenorman's of this world get away our $16.12 ?

Defective Detective
05-23-2007, 07:44 PM
I guess it's oficially settled, then: Roman numerals suck.

Elendil's Heir
05-24-2007, 08:59 AM
Yes. Why not. Why not let all the Scott Tenorman's of this world get away our $16.12 ?

Huh? :dubious:

John W. Kennedy
05-24-2007, 11:36 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Tenorman_Must_Die

essell
05-24-2007, 12:14 PM
Huh? :dubious:
It was part of Cartman's speech about doing what's right rather than what's easiest.

Roman Numerals are like caligraphy. The whole point is the work involved else we'd just write 1990. The way it's presented is the point, not the information involved.

Much more grown up than a Southpark quote

Elendil's Heir
05-24-2007, 03:56 PM
So... the longer the Roman numeral the better, from your perspective?

Chronos
05-24-2007, 06:58 PM
In that case, who needs X? IIIIIIIIII will work just as well.

Or, heck, let's just toss out L, C, and D, too, while we're at it.

JimOfAllTrades
05-24-2007, 07:25 PM
If we toss out the LCDs my calculator, phone, and flat screen monitor will die!

Who knew modern electronics depended on roman numerals?

:)

Nanashi
06-02-2007, 11:12 PM
I'm surprised you haven't noticed this.

There is a general rule to Roman Numerals. I take a course in Latin.

1. Numbers can't repeat more than 3 times. (No XXXX = 40)
2. When subtracting, the number can't be less than one tenth of the number that is being subtracted from. (IC is not 99, but XC does work for 90)
3. A macron over a number multiplies it by 1,000.

John W. Kennedy
06-03-2007, 10:25 PM
That's the stuff they teach in school today, yes.

Ask someone who has to read old documents for a living just how true those general rules are, and he'll laugh in your face.

Nanashi
06-04-2007, 12:32 AM
That's the stuff they teach in school today, yes.

Ask someone who has to read old documents for a living just how true those general rules are, and he'll laugh in your face.

Yes, I understand that most of the Roman population wasn't very educated.

I've seen Roman graffiti of gladiators and their scores. A gladiator with 24 kills had some number XXIIII next to him.

Apparently these rules applied to the educated population of Rome.

aldiboronti
06-04-2007, 02:02 AM
Yes, I understand that most of the Roman population wasn't very educated.

I've seen Roman graffiti of gladiators and their scores. A gladiator with 24 kills had some number XXIIII next to him.

Apparently these rules applied to the educated population of Rome.

I'm sorry, but that's nonsense.

XXXX for 40, for example, is found in monumental inscriptions, manuscripts, etc. It has nothing whatever to do with education levels. It's simply a variant form.

BobLibDem
06-05-2007, 08:55 PM
I'm surprised you haven't noticed this.

There is a general rule to Roman Numerals. I take a course in Latin.

1. Numbers can't repeat more than 3 times. (No XXXX = 40)
2. When subtracting, the number can't be less than one tenth of the number that is being subtracted from. (IC is not 99, but XC does work for 90)
3. A macron over a number multiplies it by 1,000.

Someone forgot to tell cuckoo clock manufacturers. Every one I've ever seen has IIII for 4.

John W. Kennedy
06-06-2007, 08:58 PM
Plenty of other clocks have "IIII" rather than "IV".

Alive At Both Ends
06-07-2007, 08:27 AM
Plenty of other clocks have "IIII" rather than "IV".
The reason for that is aesthetic - it balances the "VIII" on the other side.

essell
06-07-2007, 10:04 AM
The reason for that is aesthetic - it balances the "VIII" on the other side.

That's (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a2_153.html) one theory...