View Single Post
Old 02-16-2020, 01:26 AM
lingyi is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 2,751
Originally Posted by dtilque View Post
Sorry, I didn't mean to move them. This is what I had in mind when I started the thread. I guess I didn't explain it very well. However, maybe I can fix it up a bit.

Context is often critical to a symbol's meaning, just as it is for those of words and other things. So a symbol with multiple meanings, that everyone recognizes with the same meaning in a typical context, it's universal. So if everyone recognizes a + as a plus sign when it's written in between two number, then it's universal.

So if the tilted swastika scrawled on a wall is seen by everyone as Naziism, then it qualifies. Or if they recognize it in some other typical context (e.g. neo-Nazi literature). The Hindu/Buddhist meaning is obviously not so recognized, so it's not universal.
So for at least China and Japan, and probably most other countries, arabic numerals must be used, making them almost certainly universal in math equations.