The Friday Fillip: Calculating Words

Remember the “new math”? Everything you knew and the way you knew it were wrong. You had to be able to calculate in base 3 or base 7. You either couldn’t do your homework or couldn’t help your kids with theirs.

Well, this isn’t that.

New Math is a website where Craig Damrauer makes language sub for numbers and comes up with some wry products. For instance:

Or, to pick something likely even closer to our hearts:

More of a hmmm than a haha. But there are funny equations, true equations, and truly odd equations, and because

you should go and see for yourself. And if you get inspired, share your equations in a comment.

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  1. It’s a slightly different context, but before the introduction of “Arabic numerals” to the Western world from India, Near East languages including Arabic and Hebrew, used letters to signify numbers.
    This gave rise to an entire discipline of counting words and finding hidden meanings. In Judaism it’s known as gematria (גימטריה).

    It’s used far more extensively in mysticism and midrashim (commentary) than in law, but there is some. For example, the number of days that a person is to take a Nazirite vow is not expressly stated in Numbers 6:5, but is taken from the numerical value of the word “YiHYeH,” 30.

    The numerical value of the Greek word for law, nomoj, is 430, which corresponds to Paul’s statement in Galatians 3:17, and the period in Exodus 12:40.

    And then there are far more complicated equations used to look at the relationships of the words in the numerical value, not in their substantive meanings as in Damrauer’s pictographs.