An Earlier and Professional Choice For UNCIAL vs DOZENAL

Ruthe
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Ruthe
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May 18 2018, 12:17 AM #1

The nomination of 'Uncial' by Pvt.William S. Crosby in the second issue ot the Duodecimal Bulletin in June 1945 as the name for a base twelve system of numeration and mensuration I believed to be the earliest reference for this name, pre-dating my own independently nomination decades later. I now find a much earlier and far more prestgious example in nothing less than a Latin-English dictionary. I have a 48th impression of the 2nd edition of this book printed in 1924. Even more relavant is the date of the first edition, 1870. This tome was the work of a Sir William Smith, D.C.L, LL.d & Theophilus D. Hall, M.A. both of University College, London. This would seem to suggest these two men were experts in their field and therefore their work to be well respected. It was only on further inspection of Roman/Latin mensuration that I noted that they too had, without any preface, used the very same name for base 12 measures as Crosby and myself, to wit, 'Uncial'.

I provide copies of the inside title page and the reverse page showing the date of publication as Ref01 & Ref02, the entries for 'decem' (ten), 'decima' (tenth) & 'uncia' (twelfth) as Ref03-Ref05 respectively, and tables of weights and measures as Ref06-Ref09. In Ref06 in the first line of text below Table III there is the use of the word "uncial", in Ref07 in the last line of text below Table IV the same use of "uncial", and in Ref08, the title of Table VI is "THE UNCIAL DIVISIONS OF THE POUND".

I have included Ref09 to complete the set of tables though that does not include the use of the word uncial.

While it may not be common knowledge in public, it seems in acadaemia, the choice of 'uncial' was accepted for base twelve mensuration and therefore numeration.
As I have said before, 'uncial' is the only word that is both devoid of any connection to ten as in 'dozenal' or 'dudecimal' but is also a direct analogue to 'decimal' for a base ten system. Decimal is a derivative of 'decima', a tenth, and 'uncial' is the derivative of 'uncia', a twelfth. Decimal is NOT derived from 'decem' (ten).
Ref01_Latin_Dictionary_Title.jpg Ref01
Ref02_Latin_Dictionary_Date.jpg Ref02

Ref03_Latin_Dictionay_Decem.jpg Ref03

Ref04_Latin_Dictionary_Decima.jpg Ref04

Ref05_Latin_Dictionary_Uncia.jpg Ref05

Ref06_Latin_Dictionary_Tables1-3.jpg Ref06

Ref07_Latin_Dictionaer_Tables4-5.jpg        Ref07

Ref08_Latin_Dictionary_Tables6-7.jpg Ref08

Ref09_Latin_Dictionary_Tables8-9.jpg Ref09
Why a Roman pocket abacus? They used dozenal fractions as their main form of fractions, 12 inches per foot & originally 12 oz per pound (inch=ounce=uncia=1/12). Columns 1 & 2 of the abacus are for dozenal fractions, column two for twelfths and column one, dozenal fractions of a twelfth. Columns 3 through 8 provided a decimal place value system with values from 1s to millions where each lower bead counts as 1 & the upper beads count 5 of a column's base 10 power, Is, Vs, Xs, Ls, Cs ,Ds, Ms etc.
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icarus
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icarus
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Joined: Apr 11 2006, 12:29 PM

May 18 2018, 11:43 AM #2

While I agree about your choice of nomenclature, that it appeals to what authority used to be (now academia is bent on "affecting change" and "making the world a better place" in a certain self-loathing and destructive way, it seems; thereby the academy is corrupt, cf. University of Missouri lunacy), that it is steeped in our Roman western heritage, that it is not connected to decimal concepts, I am not sure it makes an impact UNLESS people actually use the word. The word "uncial", as pronounced at least here in the Midwest (UHN-see-ull) reminds me of onions. Because I am fluent in Italian by having learned it at one dozen nine years old, it reminds me of "unghi" or fingernails. It also reminds me of uncles, and by uncles, ankles.

We get an ounce and an inch from this word; perhaps you mentioned this before.

You would have us call "dozenal" "uncial"? The Uncial Bulletin. The Uncial Society. Uncial multiplication.

One advantage of "dozenal" is that people immediately understand the word or can get an idea of it from the first two syllables. "Duodecimal" unfortunately would evoke "Dewey decimal" and many took it to signify having to do with American library book filing systems. If I suggested Johnny use uncial arithmetic, it would be clear as mud. Of course, if our new usage would prove popular, like a new Camila Cabello song nah nah nah, then maybe it would be snappy and find traction.

I like uncial because it is more concise and does connect to the historic, decimal-free usage. Just not sure what you're looking for people to do. Changing what we call things has consequences. For instance, some time in the late 70s or early 80s, the Duodecimal Society of America, having been established in the thirties with that name, changed it with the State of New York to be "the Dozenal Society of America". Government is the least efficient way of doing things and somehow the State of New York was remiss, or the federal government nanny state was clueless, but that fact was lost upon our betters. Our then-president changed it again to "the Dozenal Society of America" in a formal government document more recently, within the past dozen years, and that is the document we cited when recently moving our account from one inept too-big-to-fail government bailout bank to another. It was a hassle and I am not sure we're free of it. In my view I am not sure what was wrong with keeping the original name, at least in this instance, and were it the Uncial Society of America I would feel the same. Things acquire names and then go by them; they are handles, like it or not, that people recognize at least somewhat, and if we change them even for good reasons (Bombay, Mumbai) sure it takes time getting used to it, even when Peking became Beijing, but how many people live in those cities? And how many people deal in uncials? Could people live and die a hearty good live of six dozen nine years and never once hear about uncials or deal with them? If so, it might be difficult to unseat a stubborn mal-usage once established.

But if you want, I'll personally call it uncial and we'll see where we go with it.
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Kodegadulo
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May 18 2018, 01:43 PM #3

Ruthe, it was your observations about the Latin word uncia that provided one of the key ingredients for deriving Systematic Dozenal Nomenclature. Indeed, uncia itself, unaltered in any way, is one of SDN's power prefixes, with its original Latin meaning intact. So for instance, the uncia·day is straightforwardly the technical name for the "duor" (what I prefer calling the "dwell"), i.e., the dozenth of a day.  The uncia·Grafut (at least, according to Don's book) is the technical name for the "gravity inch", a dozenth of Pendlebury's "gravity foot". And so forth. By extension, uncia provided the inspiration for how to derive all the other power prefixes.  

I believe it was another observation of yours, about IUPAC's selection of digit roots, that provided the other key ingredient for SDN.  

When we want to form technical words for dozenal concepts, with grounding in Classical roots, SDN is now (for me, at least) the go-to source.  I can't overstate my own gratitude for both of your contributions to SDN.

That said, I wouldn't want to abandon the bits of English that support dozenal directly. I'm sympathetic to your argument regarding the virtues of "uncial" over "duodecimal" and "dozenal". But dozenal English is just too useful and accessible to overlook. Sad to say, when we're talking about our fellow English speakers, the best strategy to win hearts and minds is not necessarily to go immediately to the Classical.  Most Anglophones have an immediate understanding of what a "dozen" means, and many also grasp a "gross".  So when it comes to educating newcomers, "dozenal" is the ticket.  Once they are hooked on the subject, and are ready for something more advanced and technical, that's when "uncia" and its derivatives become most useful.
As of 1202/03/01[z]=2018/03/01[d] I use:
ten,eleven = ↊↋, ᘔƐ, ӾƐ, XE or AB.
Base-neutral base annotations
Systematic Dozenal Nomenclature
Primel Metrology
Western encoding (not by choice)
Greasemonkey + Mathjax + PrimelDozenator
(Links to these and other useful topics are in my index post;
click on my user name and go to my "Website" link)
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Ruthe
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May 18 2018, 03:32 PM #4

I agree completely with Icarus and Kodegadulo, that changing the existing names of the Duodecimal Bulletin and the like such as "dozenal" would be a negative influence to new and prospective adherants to dozenals, but as sugested by Kodegadulo, introducing "uncia" and its derivatives in a more advanced lesson would be the pragmatic approach.
Why a Roman pocket abacus? They used dozenal fractions as their main form of fractions, 12 inches per foot & originally 12 oz per pound (inch=ounce=uncia=1/12). Columns 1 & 2 of the abacus are for dozenal fractions, column two for twelfths and column one, dozenal fractions of a twelfth. Columns 3 through 8 provided a decimal place value system with values from 1s to millions where each lower bead counts as 1 & the upper beads count 5 of a column's base 10 power, Is, Vs, Xs, Ls, Cs ,Ds, Ms etc.
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icarus
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icarus
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May 18 2018, 09:12 PM #5

I wrote a pretty long post (but decided against it) and wherever I referenced the number system based on the multiple 2² × 3 I wrote "uncial"! I was pretty hot and decided not to post.

It's growing on me because it sounds unlike most words one hears.

Personally I call it "níçme" but uncial is a veritable (but obscure) English or at least Western-civ sort of word. Instead of linking it to just-me, it links to forefathers. I will use it at least all summer long (meaning through Annual Meeting in October). Even if I get interviewed. (Which I prolly won't).

I don't use it because some fin-de-siecle prof said so. Instead for the reason that it was always used to mean something divided into a dozen parts.
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Kodegadulo
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May 18 2018, 10:00 PM #6

Well, users of SDN (SNNz) have referred to the positive powers of twelve as the unqual powers, and the negative powers of twelve as the uncial powers, deriving those terms from unqua, the first positive power prefix, and from uncia, the first negative power prefix, respectively. I derived unqua from uncua, which I derived from uncia by converting the fronted i to a rounded u, thereby converting from soft c to hard and getting the maximum possible consonant and vowel contrast between the positive and negative powers.

I once maintained that both unqual and uncial were suitable as adjectives referring to the base. But Don for instance objected that it seems strange to name a base for its negative powers and favored unqual instead. Treisaran also favored it in that nomenclature he came up with for composite superbases. But it's true that decimal is named for its negative power.
As of 1202/03/01[z]=2018/03/01[d] I use:
ten,eleven = ↊↋, ᘔƐ, ӾƐ, XE or AB.
Base-neutral base annotations
Systematic Dozenal Nomenclature
Primel Metrology
Western encoding (not by choice)
Greasemonkey + Mathjax + PrimelDozenator
(Links to these and other useful topics are in my index post;
click on my user name and go to my "Website" link)
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icarus
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icarus
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May 19 2018, 12:26 PM #7

Was out walking this morning and I realized something. The Romans saw merit in the division of the unit into twelve parts, likely for its great divisibility (thereby flexibility of use) for so small a number. We are merely extending that north of the radix point.

The use of the word 'uncial' to mean duodecimal is an appropriate generalization.
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SenaryThe12th
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Joined: Mar 1 2018, 02:03 PM

May 19 2018, 02:58 PM #8

And we can express the sentiment that 12 is the best base by saying "All men are created unqual."  Since it comes easier to some of us, we can say "All animals are created unqual, but some are more unqual than others."
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Kodegadulo
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Kodegadulo
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May 19 2018, 06:22 PM #9

SenaryThe12th wrote: And we can express the sentiment that 12 is the best base by saying "All men are created unqual."  Since it comes easier to some of us, we can say "All animals are created unqual, but some are more unqual than others."
Nah, all men are created decimal. They actually have to fight for unqual rights.😉
Last edited by Kodegadulo on May 21 2018, 07:02 PM, edited 1 time in total.
As of 1202/03/01[z]=2018/03/01[d] I use:
ten,eleven = ↊↋, ᘔƐ, ӾƐ, XE or AB.
Base-neutral base annotations
Systematic Dozenal Nomenclature
Primel Metrology
Western encoding (not by choice)
Greasemonkey + Mathjax + PrimelDozenator
(Links to these and other useful topics are in my index post;
click on my user name and go to my "Website" link)
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SenaryThe12th
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SenaryThe12th
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May 20 2018, 02:44 PM #10

Liberty, fraternity, equality, and unquality!!!!

Actually, its kind of bittersweet how close that actually did come to being the rallying cry of the French Revolution.  Too long for a catchy slogan, I guess.
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