# 1: A Plea for Simplicity

## by Don Hammond

I find it very hard to get used to that semi-colon! To me, the semi-colon instantly registers as the punctuation mark it is, and I pause automatically.
This effect persists even with numbers, since one uses semi-colons to separate numbers which have to be dealt with successively, such as:

Q. Give the first number in each pair as a fraction of the second:

4, 7; 5, 6; 18, 26.

This is a notation that most people understand, and it will be difficult for those we try to interest in dozenals to make the necessary mental adjustment to seeing ";" as a fraction point. Furthermore, of course, it takes longer to write a semicolon by hand than to write a dot.

It is nearly impossible to persuade people to do anything which appears to be more trouble, and since we are dedicated to showing that dozenal aritmetic is simpler than is decimal, our case is not helped by having this rather tedious fraction point, is it?

We have an alternative. It has always been staring us in the face and is already used as a dozenal fraction point!
I refer, of course, to the single inverted comma, ' . It is in use to denote feet and was used to denote shillings, as in:

length 5' 6" or price 2'6d.

I know the objections, and will deal with them as follows:

• This sign means minutes. So it does, but only in conjunction with the ° sign for degrees.
• This sign is used to denote complementation of sets. True, but then it is used on letters, e.g. AB'C.
• If followed by other digits, it will be mistaken for feet and inches.
With single figures this will not matter much anyway! With two or more figures the absence of the " sign will make clear the difference, e.g. 64'73 will not be confused with 64' 7 ¼". I use the sign myself when writing dozenals and find it far superior to the semi-colon.

Compare:

1/8 = 0;16 or 0'16
1/3 = 0;4 or 0'4

# 2: A Grave Solution?

## by Andrew Patterson

The back quote (`) might do; it doesn't seem to have any particular use on the keyboard.

1/8 = 0`16
1/3 = 0`4
2s6d = 2`6s or 26`d