Allusionist 140. Num8er5

We use verbal numbers and we use numerals - why do we need both? Why do we have the ones we have? What happened to Roman numerals? And what's loserish about the fiftieth Super Bowl? Stephen Chrisomalis, professor of anthropology and linguistics and author of the book Reckonings: Numerals, Cognition and History, returns to the Allusionist to explain our current numbers, and why we shouldn't get too arrogant about them. There's more about this episode, and a transcript, at Sign up to be a patron at and as well as supporting the show, you get discounted tickets to the upcoming Allusionist live show on 4 September 2021. The music is by Martin Austwick. Hear Martin’s own songs at or search for Pale Bird on Bandcamp and Spotify, and he’s @martinaustwick on Twitter and Instagram.  The Allusionist's online home is Stay in touch at, and Our ad partner is Multitude. To sponsor an episode of the show, contact them at This episode is sponsored by: • Acorn TV, the streaming service featuring hundreds of dramas, mysteries and comedies from around the world. Try Acorn TV free for 30 days, by going to Acorn.TV and using my promo code allusionist. (Be sure to type that code in lower case.)  • Catan, the building and trading board game where no two games are the same. Allusionist listeners get 10 percent off the original base game at • BetterHelp, online therapy with licensed professional counsellors. Allusionist listeners get 10% off your first month at Support the show: See for privacy information.

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