- Stop Sign Campaign To Come

# numbers and numbering

# won, to, for, ate: The Troubling Doubling Homophonic Numbers

The only single digit—or any number four that matter—numbers that have homophones in the English language are also the first four doubling numbers: 1, 2, 4, 8 (nein is Germanic, as is English, but that’s even more of a stretch, and I respond to it by saying “no” , four it doesn’t fit the pattern and would break it)… I think its appropriate, and pretty sweet, that it stops there and doesn’t go to 16, and that there are only four of them.

[edit: words below added on 2016-03-30]

A relevant related phenomenon exists in the number of letters used to write out a pronunciation matches for 1,2,4, as in 1, to, four (but not three, which is made up of 5 letters). Also, there are four Latin prefixes that have the same letters as the number they are to represent: bi, tri, quad, quint.

# 45678910 and 45678901

If you look at the number 45678910 you can see a clear linear pattern of growth by a factor of one, and if there were blanks for you to fill in you’d be able to do so to keep the pattern consistent. However, what’s rare about this number (I don’t know how rare) is that if you switch the two last digits, the “1” with the “0”, to get 45678901, you don’t have a broken pattern—you switch to a totally new pattern. What’s more, it’s a qualitatively distinct pattern, as you are moving from a linear pattern to a cyclical pattern (456789**01**234567890123…). Are there any other patterns out there that you can switch the final two digits in an already well established pattern and get a new pattern, not just a broken sequence?

I wouldn’t spend too much time trying to think of one deductively, though, as there is too much living to get stuck in math puzzles! This was just a situation of inductive luck, where luck was the collision of drifting thoughts and awareness.

Note: (April 19, 2015) - The pattern is made longer by changing the numeral system from decimal (ten single digits) to hexadecimal (sixteen single digits), for example. Further, I started at the #4 for a curious reason to perhaps be elucidated in the future, but one could have started at the #1 or 0, or possibly even a negative number, though that might have broken the pattern rules somewhat... though I'm no referee of the math jungle, just an occasional adventurer there.

# Unlucky Number One

When a new student enters a class of twelve, the assumption is that s/he is the thirteen**th** student. But perhaps they are now the first student, the one the instructor is most cognizant of, and all the other students are pushed back by one, with former number twelve losing any luck to become the new number thirteen. Is the thirteen indicative of all now having bad luck, or is it centered on a single individual, with the other twelve in the clear? One of the odd things about the way it’s never said “unlucky thirteenth”, but always “unlucky thirteen”, but many times what is meant is unlucky thirteenth.

Is the one doing the counting to be counted—i.e., what about the instructor? Is not there now actually a change from 13 to 14 students. A lucky change, then, when a new one comes and disorders the order.

*In economic/food transactions, getting 13 of something probably means you paid for a dozen and got the 13th free, so that is definitely a valuable 13th!