View Poll Results: How do you typically handwrite the number seven?
The "traditional" Hindu way, no line/slash 111 48.47%
The "European" way, with a line/slash 114 49.78%
VII 0 0%
|| || || 0 0%
Something else 4 1.75%
What the hell is a "seven"? 0 0%
Voters: 229. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-19-2019, 11:22 AM
DPRK is offline
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Originally Posted by Johanna View Post
The reason Europeans add the slash to the 7 is because they're taught to write the figure 1 with an upstroke on the left, to keep them from being mistaken for each other. Likewise with Z vs. 2.
Reminds me a bit of old-fashioned German handwriting: got to put a little mark over every "u", otherwise how could anyone distinguish it from "n"?
Old 10-19-2019, 12:48 PM
dalej42 is offline
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European always, I think I was told to do it in Algebra I. It was also required at my first job at a brokerage firm when we had to write out order tickets.
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:27 PM
RioRico is offline
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No slashing in my California childhood. A Brit girlfriend taught me to slash sevens and zeds (zees to us Yanks). Then working commo in the Army taught me to slash zeros; running up beer tabs in Germany taught me to underscore ones. Penciling programs on COBOL coding sheets reinforced my slashing everything. Now I inside-dot rather than slash zeros but I otherwise make sure ones, sevens, and zeds are distinct. I'm fine as long as they take my cheque.
Old 10-19-2019, 09:54 PM
chizzuk is offline
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I'm American and wasn't taught the slash, but I started slashing my sevens at some point--I'm not sure when--and never stopped. Now it's compulsive and if I don't do it, something feels wrong. It's actually a bit of a problem because I work in an elementary school (though not as a teacher) and whenever kids see me write numbers, they get confused and are like "What number is that?" But I can't stop myself.
Old 10-19-2019, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by RioRico View Post
A Brit girlfriend taught me to slash sevens and zeds (zees to us Yanks).
The hell with Zees. Them and the penny, get rid of the lot.

ETA: that's Zeds, for those of you who swing that way.

Last edited by kayaker; 10-19-2019 at 10:50 PM.
Old 10-19-2019, 11:27 PM
Dickerman is offline
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Location: Pacific NW
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I chose the second option, since it's what I do most of the time. I've never known it as European. Learned it (and slashing zeroes) in college taking math/physics/engineering courses.
Old 10-19-2019, 11:43 PM
Defensive Indifference is offline
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Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
The only thing I put a slash through is the letter "Z" because I have terrible handwriting and mixing up a Z with a 2 somewhere in the middle of a 2 page diff eq problem was becoming an issue.
Granted, I don't do a whole lot of multi variable math these days, but the habit is still there.
I also slash my Zs because my handwriting is shit, and my 2s look like Zs. I remember my dad hassling me about it, saying if I made my 2s correctly I wouldn't need to put that extra line in my Zs.

Originally Posted by Noelq View Post
IT guy.

Seven with a slash, Zero with a slash, and if needed, One with a slash.

It makes a huge f**king difference when you're handwriting down a code for something.
Oh, yeah, I also slash my zeroes if I'm writing an alphanumeric string where 0 and O could be confused. I don't slash zeroes if it's clear that I'm writing a number, as in a year or a monetary amount. ISTR a teacher in high school, around 1987 or 1988, grumbling about computer displays and prints that slashed the zeroes (really more of a dot, but close enough). He said a slashed zero was a null set, not the number zero. I guess he was right, I dunno. But I figure the number of people who would be genuinely confused as to whether I meant "zero" or "null set" in passw0rd is vanishingly small.

Last edited by Defensive Indifference; 10-19-2019 at 11:44 PM.
Old 10-20-2019, 02:43 AM
Filbert is offline
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Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
Yesterday was payday at work, and I slashed every seven on every check I wrote. As far as Zs are concerned, I rarely write a z. How often do you need to leave a note, "went to the zoo, be back soon"?
Depends if your full name has a 'z' in in and your family run a zoo...

I used to be inconsistent about it, after working in a cafe with people from 3 different European countries, I slash my 7s. I also slash my zeds most the time, the rest of the time I put a fancy squiggly tail on them, as taught my by an insane teacher who insisted I, and no-one else in the class, write 'z' that way as there was one in my name.
Old 10-20-2019, 05:06 AM
The Maple Leaf is offline
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I write it with a slash so it would be clear that it's not a 1. Sometimes I write 1 with a serif and sometimes without.
Old 10-20-2019, 06:25 AM
kambuckta is online now
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Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
I put a slash through my sevens 90% of the time.
I do the same, but only started in adulthood when I realized that sometimes my 7s were indistinguishable from my 1s. And of course, getting older, sometimes I forget.

Last edited by kambuckta; 10-20-2019 at 06:26 AM.
Old 10-21-2019, 07:18 AM
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JKellyMap is offline
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Originally Posted by Johanna View Post
The original Hindu 7 was written in ancient Brahmi script, where it resembled the modern Gujarati ੭.
That looks to me like Gurmukhi, according to your list. Anyway, thanks for the info on the origins of the symbol very cool!
Old 10-21-2019, 02:08 PM
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You're right, it's Gurmukhi. I skipped a line in reading what I'd written.
Old 10-21-2019, 02:14 PM
Ashtura is offline
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Both depending on circumstances. If there's any ambiguity I will write it the European way, but most of the time I'll use do the Hindu way. I write very little though and the vast majority of it is numbers on credit card receipts. There's enough context in there that I rarely use the European style.

Last edited by Ashtura; 10-21-2019 at 02:15 PM.
Old 10-21-2019, 05:03 PM
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I am incapable of writing the number 7, much like being unable to write the emotion happiness.


I write the (Arabic) numeral with a slash.
I write the Roman numeral VII.
I write the word "seven".
Old 10-21-2019, 09:02 PM
Balthisar is offline
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The unambiguous way, which, for some reason, this thread is calling "European." I also slash my zeros unless I'm writing in a Nordic tongue.
Old 10-21-2019, 09:23 PM
Arrendajo is offline
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Always with a slash.
Old 10-21-2019, 10:00 PM
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With fangs and a big muscley arm.
Old 10-21-2019, 10:36 PM
CairoCarol is offline
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With a slash.

As a little kid I was taught the slashless version, but when I got to high school my math teacher used the slash. I thought it looked cool so imitated him.

By the time I grew up enough to realize my original motivation for using the slash was pretentious, it was no longer an affectation on my part but had become completely natural; I had also noticed that it was a good way to avoid mixing up 7s and 1s. Living outside the US most of my adult life just reinforced that the slashed version was normal.

The thing I now struggle with is dates. Having mostly lived where the normal way to write a date is, for example, "21 Oct 2019," that is the way I automatically write and have for years. But now that I'm in the US, I know that it's not done that way and that I'm at best possibly confusing, at worst pretentious if I use the international standard. So I am trying to train myself out of it and go back to "Oct 21, 2019." It looks weird to me though.
If I waited for memory to serve, I'd starve.
Old 10-31-2019, 07:56 PM
SCAdian is offline
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European. Picked up the habit in my high-school German class.
Old 10-31-2019, 09:15 PM
pmwgreen is offline
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Anther possible 7, I used to have a clock (traditional 12 hours dial with hands) where the 7 had a loop at the bottom so that it was exactly like the 2 inverted.
Old 10-31-2019, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
I put a slash through my sevens 90% of the time.
Same here.
Old 11-01-2019, 12:03 PM
garygnu is offline
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I include the slash and the serif on the top left. I'm pretty deliberate with all my numerals. One has serifs top and bottom; top of three is strait; four is angled, open and crossed. I don't cross my zeroes; I couldn't get it to look good and it reminds me of the empty set symbol, which isn't zero.
Old 11-01-2019, 02:12 PM
psychobunny is offline
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I slash my 7s and Zs. Now my 7s are always confused with 2s. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to write a check for $.50 for my health insurance because the amount ends in .73, they read it as .23, and send me a note threatening to cancel my health insurance because I did not pay in full.
I'm not really an insane rabbit, but I play one on the net.
Old 11-10-2019, 01:55 PM
naita is offline
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As a kid in Norway I was taught the slashed version and never stopped. I also slash zeds. My ones are just a straight line. My 4s are the upside down h of a calculator.
Old 11-11-2019, 11:48 AM
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For me, plain seven has no slash. Seven-bar is reserved for 7 divided by two-pi.


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