what time is it?

we don't know but perhaps a fellow anorak will - ask them here
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bend sinister
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what time is it?

Post by bend sinister » Fri Aug 15, 2008 7:40 pm

and why do clocks show 4 in roman numerals as IIII not IV????
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Re: what time is it?

Post by postalblue » Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:12 pm

bend sinister wrote:and why do clocks show 4 in roman numerals as IIII not IV????
Do they? I never noticed that.
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Re: what time is it?

Post by jayen_aitch » Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:15 pm

It's twelve minutes past eight in the evening. To my recollection I've never seen a clock show IIII, do you have a picture of this clock?

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Re: what time is it?

Post by RITH » Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:41 am


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Re: what time is it?

Post by postalblue » Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:28 am

Ok, I get it, it's supposed to make it easier for you to tell whether the watch/clock is upright or upside down. Is that the correct answer?
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Re: what time is it?

Post by bend sinister » Sat Aug 16, 2008 5:59 pm

I'm not satisfied. There were at least 3 answers in there.

Further to this, in the video for 'Everything Must Go' by a certain welsh rock group a giant clock with IV is shown.

Argh, this will never be resolved.
Last edited by bend sinister on Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: what time is it?

Post by Gordon » Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:14 pm

I have a book with the answer to this somewhere. I think it's something to do with confusion about IV vs VI and also old clock faces back when people were illiterate and had enough problems with adding I to V let alone subtracting it.
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Re: what time is it?

Post by Gordon » Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:15 pm

I think some old clocks used to say VIIII as well...
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Re: what time is it?

Post by Sootyzilla » Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:25 pm

it was to avoid confusion between IV and VI and between IX and XI. Imagine the embarrassment when you had a date at VI and looked at the clock to see it was almost VI already, rushed off only to discover that you'd got it wrong and it was really only just gone IV.
As wrong as it was to do,
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Re: what time is it?

Post by Gordon » Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:28 pm

But IX and XI are both on there...
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Re: what time is it?

Post by My Melody » Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:16 pm

Is it cheating if I post a wikipedia link?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_numerals#IIII_vs._IV" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I just coincidentely read this thread and really really wanted to know why. So there are loads of explanations on wikipedia.
I like the Louis XIV one best!

Louis XIV, king of France, who preferred IIII over IV, ordered his clockmakers to produce clocks with IIII and not IV, and thus it has remained.

I think he would be really pissed off if he knew that noone calls him Louis XIIII.

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