A fistful of twenties

It’s often claimed that Western civilisation’s “Big Leap Forward” was when Albert Einstein invented the number zero, and so it’s a source of much bafflement to commentators that the numeracy fad has never caught on in France. Let me illustrate with a recent conversation from my holidays, which I have translated into English for your convenience:

– So, how much is that then?
– Ten and seven Euros plus four score and ten and another seven, sir.
– You mean… seventeen Euros ninety-seven?
– That’s right, sir: ten and seven Euros plus four score and ten and another seven.

What the hell is that all about? They might as well be using binary. It’s no wonder they can’t handle advanced counting systems such as quarts, ounces and furlongs. It is for this precise reason that we never let them into the Commonwealth and they’ve hated us for it ever since.

zidane.jpg
Famous Frenchman Zinedine Zidane, seen here playing in the “Number Two Threes Plus Two Plus the Square Root of Four” shirt.

One thought on “A fistful of twenties

  1. You have just begun to answer a question which was not hovering at the back of my mind. Could there have been a French person involved in the old counterfeiters’ joke.

    [Scene – cellar, dark and inky]

    “You … fool! You’ve printed a batch of £18 notes!

    [Scene shifts to pub – dark and beery]

    “Can you change this?”
    “Sure. What d’you want? Two nines, three sixes, or two sevens and a four?”

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