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Number Words and Number Symbols: A Cultural History of Numbers Paperback – October 27, 2011
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"Menninger was a German mathematician of such panoramic interests and expository skill that he became one of his country's most widely read authors of nontechnical books on mathematics. This splendid translation of the revised 1958 edition of Menninger's most ambitious work is a beautiful volume. Its large pages are handsomely bound, carefully indexed, and enriched by 282 pictures, mostly photographs, that are as fascinating as the lively text itself.
"Menninger's story is a colorful mix of mathematics, linguistics and cultural anthropology."
—Martin Gardner, BookWorld
"The book points out many fascinating but not obvious connections between the varied meanings of words used today (such as score and tally) and between words in different languages which have common roots. Although the philological and linguistic scholarship displayed in these explorations is awe-inspiring, the writing is so direct and colorful that one need be neither a philologist nor a mathematician to enjoy it."
—Scripta Mathematica --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Original Language: German
Top Customer Reviews
If you don't mind sometimes long and verbose reading, then this is certainly one of the best works on the subject out there. I would quibble that Menninger gives the East less coverage than the West, but his comparisons of number words across Indo-European languages is simply fascinating. Also, too are his theories about how the displacement of one language by another in a region can often lead to weird anomalies in number counting.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Because numbers have both a physical reference and a spiritual mystery, they are fascinating. This book helps me understand the meaning of number both historically and currently.Published on July 12, 2007 by Diane DeArmond