21 July 2009

Wisdom from Elf and Emperor

Emperor claimed he just couldn't do ANY more English work until his new glasses came in. (He's NEARsighted.) Of course, I disagreed and told him he could infer what the answers would be by seeing which answers were left in his word bank.

"What's infer?" Elf asks.

"It's when you have something in FUR, Elf," Emperor says disdainfully to that little guy who obviously doesn't know anything. (He even rolled his eyes.)

I'm pretty sure that you won't be able to play video games until the glasses are in, either, in that case... No, Emperor tells me, he just can't play the "bad" video games... you know, the ones you can't win. (I guess it's a good thing Mom forbids the "bad" kind here at home, eh?)

Ah, well. Things are going more smoothly this week so far. Not so long ago, I had to deal with a very crabby, angry Elf who insisted that he does NOT need to use a zero after a decimal to hold place value. Um, .5 and .05, in my hard-and-fast rule-following world, are two different things. Elf said they were NOT, either, any such thing.

O, kayyy... But you keep getting the wrong answer. Maybe because you didn't put a zero here...

"I HATE ZEROES! And I wished the zero had never been invented and I wouldn't have to do this MAAAAATH!" Elf screams and hides his face.

"Drat those Arabs for doing this to you, Elfie! I can't BELIEVE those people!" I tell him sympathetically. "Tell you what. You be a Roman and do all this stuff in Roman numerals, and as long you get the right answers, I *promise* you, you will never have to use the zeroes in your maths."

*sniff* Ok, he says. I'm trying not to laugh, because he takes this entirely too seriously.

Now, Elf likes to tell people how important zeroes are when you're dealing with decimals. He's not sure how the Romans did the decimal thing, but zeroes make it way easier for us today. Apologies to the Arabs are in order, because zero is kinda nifty, isn't it? Well, he thinks so now. I guess that was worth a little extra time, some trial and error for him to learn for himself. :]


  1. He'll think zero's are important when he Turns 10! You can't be 10 without the zero because then you would just be 1.. :O)

  2. It sounds like they have a wise mommy!

  3. Yeah, but Shelley, in Roman numerals it's just an X. Easier to write. ;)

    Aw, thanks, Sue!

  4. That's a good question. I wonder how did they do decimals in Roman.

  5. Yep, and how the Egyptians built the Pyramids. :]

  6. Ooooh! I love this little man. Who needs those silly old zeros anyway? I'm with elf....I think. I can't do Roman numerals either & I never did work out where the zero went with decimals unless there's one of these $ with it.

  7. Them zero thingies are rather useful, if'n I do say so myself.

    [smile] Keep up the good work.

    And that was very clever: Suggesting he try it in Roman numerals. I'll keep that one in my back pocket if it ever comes up...


  8. LOL Dare ya to do that in MathTacular! :p

  9. Oh Man, you are right X is a lot easier! lol..

  10. Oh wow! That is sooooo cute!! Man, I understand those days. LOL.


Non-troll comments always welcome! :)