By ‘a math teacher’, I mean anyone teaching math, including a home schooler. I am not talking about a math teacher who is teaching computer science or some other subject. In computer science it often makes sense to pronounce binary numbers like telephone numbers; a mere series of numerals.
Why current pronunciation systems for binary are inadequate for the math classroom.
The base ten counting system has a set of spoken names and rules for pronouncing them that works well, and that we take for granted. Other bases, such as binary, or base eight, or base sixteen seem inhuman, difficult, and useless mainly because they lack an analogous system of names…
This is my second published version of this mnemonic and puzzle. The mnemonic is essentially the same, but I tweaked it significantly. This article contains everything that was in the first article so there is no point in reading that one if you can read this one.
The mnemonic Roy G. Biv is the name of an imaginary person with the initials RGB, which recalls “red, green, blue” which are the names of the light primaries, also known as the primary colors, I noticed. This is in addition to its well-known function of recalling the classic seven colors of the rainbow “red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet”.
I published the ideas of this article about two weeks ago but I can’t find my way back to that account, and so I am republishing it here.
Seven times nine? Seven less one is six, nine minus six is three, so sixty three. This well-known trick for calculating nine times any numeral sucks.
The problem is that you end up not knowing your nine times table properly. If you had memorized “seven times nine is sixty-three” you’d know it. But because you always used a trick to calculate it, you never learn it.
The best thing is to just learn it by rote.
If you must use a trick, here is a better one: “Seven times nine is seven times ten less seven, which is seventy less seven, which is sixty-three”. This is better because it is a real calculation that has meaning, and not a senseless mnemonic trick that happens to give you the right answer.
I will try to limit myself to original, nonobvious observations. I know that the following is highly speculative, and I risk making a complete fool of myself by revealing my personal analysis of this Larkin poem. Larkin’s poems are very easy to misinterpret, as I have found to my cost…