Re: Encoding of Numbers Composed of Decimal Digits (General Category of Nd)

From: Mark E. Shoulson <>
Date: Tue, 01 May 2012 19:20:16 -0400

On 05/01/2012 04:15 AM, Simon Montagu wrote:
> On 04/30/2012 02:46 PM, Michael Probst wrote:
>> I don't think people writing Ivrit or Arabic perceive their writing as
>> bidirectional.
> In my experience, people writing Hebrew do write and read numbers
> left-to-right. An obvious example is telephone numbers, which one can
> only *dial* as MSD first, so the natural way to read or write them is
> also MSD first.

A lot has probably been changed with technology. Not only telephone
numbers, but also calculators, cash registers, and computer text (even
before Unicode) all settled on the MSD-first (and MSD on the left),
possibly due to the great influence of LTR languages. By the time Modern
Hebrew existed at all, such technology was already becoming commonplace.
Arabic (and Aramaic) at least has a continuous history, but in the
modern age I would guess Arabic writers also tend to think in terms of
MSD-first; it's only when it's only handwriting and there aren't
confounding influences that you might find it otherwise.. I found a
document a long time ago (I remember I mentioned it here once)
describing base-10 writing some century/ies back for Hebrew (using the
letters א-ט and a circle for zero); maybe I can find that scan again. I
remember that it did describe writing the numbers in *LSD* order.

Wait, here:

Received on Tue May 01 2012 - 18:23:11 CDT

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