Introduction Edit


The first 360 argam digits.

Argam numerals, also referred to as ismarragam and misspelled on this wiki as "arqam", is a system that assigns a single name and a symbol to numbers, or as a combination of two or more names and symbols. It is an extension to our existing Arabic numeral system devised by Michael Thomas De Vlieger. It is intended for use with bases larger than 10. Parts of the Argam may be used for bases as small as 12, or as large as 360.

The symbols may be arranged vertically in relation to each other, similar to how Exponentiation is noted.

For example, using Arabic numerals, the twenty-fourth number is written as 24. Under the Argam system, it is written as 233 (2 multipled by itself three times, then that total is multiplied by three) to note how you arrive at the twenty-fourth number. It is then assigned a the name cadex and the glyph Ɣ̴ instead of "twenty-four".

The system also makes an attempt to provide consistency in the naming and symbols assigned to a number and to eliminate names that do not have a straight-forward relationship to the similar numbers. An example given is seventeen. It is described as not having anything in common with other numbers that end in seven, such as 27, 37, 47, etc. Seventeen is named "zote", so multiples of it would have similar names: "dizote" for two times seventeen, or 34 in Arabic numerals. The symbol for thirty-four would be a slight modification of the symbol for "zote", much like the logograms used in the Chinese language.

Another example of the modified symbols is for the first example. Twenty-four is two times twelve. Twelve is assigned the Latin capital letter Gamma (Ɣ), so twenty-four is Gamma with a horizontal bar through the lower half. However, thirty-six is not a further modification of twelve's symbol. It is a modification of twenty-three's symbol since it is two times twenty-three instead of three times twelve. In fact, many of the Argam symbols are characters taken from other alphabets like Latin, Greek and Cyrillic.

Practicality Edit

The system quickly becomes unwieldy when dealing with numbers that cannot be expressed by multiples of integers. For example, the thirteenth number (13) is a prime number. It is assigned a unique name and unique symbol that is not a variation on any other argam number. A picture of the "Argam Arimaxa" numeral set shows it as a symbol similar to a backwards 6 or the Latin small letter D with a topbar (ƌ).

To note the third multiple of the thirteenth number, 39, it is written as 3ƌ and given a symbol that looks like a J written in script or cursive. The fourth multiple (52) is written as 22ƌ and is given a symbol that bears no resemblance to the previous symbols.

Pattern recognition quickly also becomes a factor when using this sytem. Many of the symbols assigned to the numbers are the same or nearly the same shape, but mirrored in one or more direction. For example, the symbol for 15 is a backwards 5, the symbol for 32 is a symbol shaped close to a 5 mirrored vertically (looking more like an angular 2), and the symbol for 50 is the symbol for 32 mirrored horizontally, but without a serif at the bottom.

Another example occurs with 14 and 36. The first is the Cyrillic captial letter reversed Ze (Ԑ), while the second has some of the curves flattened out and a serif at the top.

Given the potential of this numbering system for creating thousands of similarly-shaped symbols, if not tens of thousands or even into the millions, Argam numbering is not practical to use outside of theoretical discussions. Attempting to use it in a real-world application would make it more difficult to use and learn than Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, or Thai, which are rated amongst the hardest languages to learn, and may be beyond the ability of most people without having to continually refer to reference tables. In addition, the Arabic numbering system is a world standard for both human and computer languages and therefore a replacement for it would be economically unfeasable.