I’m a mild fan of dozenal, also known as base twelve or duodecimal (which is a very base-ten way of naming base twelve, and which Wikipedia helpfully points out should not be confused with the Dewey Decimal system). I haven’t memorized my times tables in dozenal; like most people, I find decimal sufficient for daily life (and much easier to use with existing technology), which is precisely why imminent global change to dozenal is unlikely.

Still, I find it interesting to wonder what arithmetic would be like if we’d ended up with a more sensible base system, like dozenal, or if we one day did manage to switch to it. The particular subject of this article is: What if, instead of adding a couple of symbols to the familiar decimal ones, we designed new symbols specifically for dozenal? And what if, instead of choosing arbitrary symbols, we built them out of components that each conveyed a particular meaning? Continue reading Dozenal numerals with meaningful components