I recall reading once that the name of the numbers in the set {1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9} is related to the number of angles people in antiquity used to trace while drawing them:

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Does not it strike you as a redundant way to explain the names of them figures?

Has this "explanation" been questioned before?

closed as off-topic by Conifold, Nick R, Eliran, Frank Hubeny, Mark Andrews Sep 14 '18 at 1:21

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  • 2
    0! No angels! (Just my grammar nazi shouts) What is so paradoxical in this definition (description)? – rus9384 Sep 13 '18 at 18:59
  • 2
    9 has been written with a "curly" tail in order to match the expected number of angles. See Ad hoc hypothesis. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Sep 13 '18 at 19:05
  • 1
    See Origins of arabic numerals – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Sep 13 '18 at 19:06
  • 1
    At first, this is a myth. At second, what seems logical and intuitive is not paradoxical. – rus9384 Sep 13 '18 at 19:11
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    First, this is a question for History of Science and Math SE, it has nothing to do with philosophy, and second, people in antiquity did not draw these symbols because they were only introduced by Arabs a millenium later. Brahmi numerals from which they are derived looked very differently. – Conifold Sep 13 '18 at 20:09

Similar theories have no historical (nor rational) support.

See Georges Ifrah, The universal history of numbers: from prehistory to the invention of the computer (1st French ed, 1994), page 356-57 for some fanciful tehories about the origins of numerals.

And see similar imaginary reconstruction, using segments, into Carlos Le-Maur (1724-1785)'s treatise : Elementos de matematica pura: tomo primero : aritimética universal (1778), page 15.

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