what do you call the prisoners' counting numerals?

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casioc...@gmail.com

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May 15, 2005, 2:46:37 PM5/15/05
to

Well, they're not exlusive to prisoners, but you see them often in
tails of prisoners using them in solitary confinement to count the
days; 1, 2, 3, 4 vertical scratches on the wall, and a fifth scratch
across them, and so on.

As I said, nails and cement are not the only means of making them, ink
and paper seem to do just fine.

What do you call them?

Mark Brader

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May 15, 2005, 3:05:50 PM5/15/05
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> Well, they're not exlusive to prisoners, but you see them often in
> [tales] of prisoners using them in solitary confinement to count the

> days; 1, 2, 3, 4 vertical scratches on the wall, and a fifth scratch
> across them, and so on.
...
> What do you call them?

Tally marks.
--
Mark Brader, Toronto "Constrain your data early and often."
m...@vex.net -- C. M. Sperberg-McQueen

Tony Cooper

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May 15, 2005, 3:13:17 PM5/15/05
to
On Sun, 15 May 2005 19:05:50 -0000, m...@vex.net (Mark Brader) wrote:

>> Well, they're not exlusive to prisoners, but you see them often in
>> [tales] of prisoners using them in solitary confinement to count the
>> days; 1, 2, 3, 4 vertical scratches on the wall, and a fifth scratch
>> across them, and so on.
> ...
>> What do you call them?
>
>Tally marks.

Hopefully, our Laura is elsewhere. I don't think she does calypso.


--
Tony Cooper
Orlando FL

Mark Brader

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May 15, 2005, 3:29:08 PM5/15/05
to
>>> What do you call them?
>>
>> Tally marks.
>
> Hopefully, our Laura is elsewhere. I don't think she does calypso.

I didn't have a-spira-tions to a response like that!

Let's see, there's Mark Brader, Mark Barratt, Mark Odegard, Mark Israel...
--
Mark Brader, Toronto "Do people confuse me with Mark Brader?"
m...@vex.net --Mark Barratt

the Omrud

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May 15, 2005, 3:32:37 PM5/15/05
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spake thusly:

I've always called them "gate <something>". Gate marks? Gate
charts? Gate counts? Anyway, the five lines look like a five-bar
gate. I strongly suspect I got this from Dad, who was a draftsman.

--
David
=====
replace usenet with the

John Dean

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May 15, 2005, 5:45:57 PM5/15/05
to

In the Brit Civil Service we always called it the five-bar gate system
because a completed tally of five items looks like a gate with four
horizontal bars and one diagonal. Very useful system for all kinds of
running total.
--
John Dean
Oxford

Mike Barnes

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May 15, 2005, 6:00:08 PM5/15/05
to
In alt.usage.english, John Dean wrote:
>In the Brit Civil Service we always called it the five-bar gate system
>because a completed tally of five items looks like a gate with four
>horizontal bars and one diagonal.

A five bar gate has five horizontal bars. The tally has four bars, not
five, and they're vertical, not horizontal.

But it's close enough for government work, I'd say.

--
Mike Barnes
Cheshire, England

M. J. Powell

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May 15, 2005, 7:03:21 PM5/15/05
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In message <1116182797.0...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
casioc...@gmail.com writes

>
>
>Well, they're not exlusive to prisoners, but you see them often in
>tails of prisoners using them in solitary confinement to count the
>days; 1, 2, 3, 4 vertical scratches on the wall, and a fifth scratch
>across them, and so on.

That's also the method of scoring in cricket.

Mike

R H Draney

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May 15, 2005, 9:46:00 PM5/15/05
to
Tony Cooper filted:

Hiding from the deadly black tarant'la, I suppose....

I've also heard of the scratches being called "counting in base one"....r

Sara Lorimer

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May 15, 2005, 10:24:46 PM5/15/05
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<casioc...@gmail.com> wrote:

Tally marks. Here are some other people make them:

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tally_marks>

--
SML

the Omrud

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May 16, 2005, 3:47:59 AM5/16/05
to
Sara Lorimer spake thusly:

Firstly, the example "from Europe" has the diagonal going the wrong
way. But more interestingly, these are of course tally marks, as
they are keeping count, but any other type of marks keeping count
would also be tally marks. These specific marks are, as John and I
have separately attested, called after the "gate" which they
resemble.

J. J. Lodder

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May 16, 2005, 4:19:30 AM5/16/05
to
Sara Lorimer <que.sara....@gmail.com> wrote:

Strange how counting and telling are mixed.
German and Dutch have 'zahlen', 'tellen', for counting,
and 'erzahlen', 'vertellen', for telling tales.

In English only the seconds meaning survives,
but it seems plausible that a trace of earlier usage survives
in 'tally',

Jan

Mike Barnes

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May 16, 2005, 4:18:50 AM5/16/05
to
In alt.usage.english, the Omrud wrote:
>Sara Lorimer spake thusly:

>>
>> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tally_marks>
>
>Firstly, the example "from Europe" has the diagonal going the wrong
>way.

No it doesn't.

--
Mike "left handed" Barnes
Cheshire, England

the Omrud

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May 16, 2005, 5:02:19 AM5/16/05
to
J. J. Lodder spake thusly:

It's a little old fashioned perhaps, but it survives in "bank
teller" (including Automatic ATM Machine), and also means a person
who counts votes at an election.

Ross Howard

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May 16, 2005, 6:14:38 AM5/16/05
to
On Mon, 16 May 2005 09:02:19 GMT, the Omrud <usenet...@gmail.com>
wrought:

How about "till" (cash register)?

--
Ross Howard

Donna Richoux

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May 16, 2005, 8:03:13 AM5/16/05
to
J. J. Lodder <nos...@de-ster.demon.nl> wrote:

> Strange how counting and telling are mixed.
> German and Dutch have 'zahlen', 'tellen', for counting,
> and 'erzahlen', 'vertellen', for telling tales.
>
> In English only the seconds meaning survives,
> but it seems plausible that a trace of earlier usage survives
> in 'tally',

In English to "recount" a story, and an "account" can be a story...
I imagine it's closely connected to the French "conte" meaning "tale"
and "raconter" (to tell a story). But the French "to count" is the
slightly different "compter."

What does American Heritage say about the early roots?... Yes, it says
that the old French "conter" and "computer" (!) both come from the same
Latin root, "computare."

And the t-words? AHD says that "tally" and "tell" are not connected,
interestingly enough. For "tally":

ETYMOLOGY: Middle English taly, from Anglo-Norman
tallie, from Medieval Latin tallia, from Latin tlea,
stick.

And for "tell":

ETYMOLOGY: Middle English tellen, from Old English
tellan. See del-2 in Appendix I.

Which leads to a list with uncopyable characters, but include "tell,"
"tale," the Dutch "taal" (language), and "talk."

--
Best -- Donna Richoux

Tony Cooper

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May 16, 2005, 10:06:20 AM5/16/05
to
On Mon, 16 May 2005 07:47:59 GMT, the Omrud <usenet...@gmail.com>
wrote:

When I am employing tally marks, I make a vertical line for each of
the first four items, and a diagonal line through the four to indicate
the fifth. My diagonal goes \ (top left to bottom right). I am
left-handed.

Do right handed people make the diagonal /? I know that my check
marks are backwards compared to right-handed writers.

Sara Lorimer

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May 16, 2005, 10:10:55 AM5/16/05
to
Tony Cooper <tony_co...@earthlink.net> wrote:

> When I am employing tally marks, I make a vertical line for each of
> the first four items, and a diagonal line through the four to indicate
> the fifth. My diagonal goes \ (top left to bottom right). I am
> left-handed.
>
> Do right handed people make the diagonal /? I know that my check
> marks are backwards compared to right-handed writers.

I'm right handed, and make it straight across or slightly /.

--
SML

Maria Conlon

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May 16, 2005, 10:29:47 AM5/16/05
to
Tony Cooper wrote:

> When I am employing tally marks, I make a vertical line for each of
> the first four items, and a diagonal line through the four to indicate
> the fifth. My diagonal goes \ (top left to bottom right). I am
> left-handed.
>
> Do right handed people make the diagonal /?

This right-handed people does.

Maria Conlon

Tony Cooper

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May 16, 2005, 10:42:01 AM5/16/05
to

It's amazing that this has never been used in murder mystery plot. We
often see Badger of the Yard concluding that the killer was
left-handed because the throat was cut from right to left from behind,
but we never see DI Badger concluding that the killer was left-handed
because a dropped grocery list contained reverse ticks.

the Omrud

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May 16, 2005, 11:36:44 AM5/16/05
to
Tony Cooper spake thusly:

I am right handed and I make the diagonal /, as I have already
commented - the example above looks wrong.

Wood Avens

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May 16, 2005, 12:00:10 PM5/16/05
to
On Mon, 16 May 2005 15:36:44 GMT, the Omrud <usenet...@gmail.com>
wrote:

>Tony Cooper spake thusly:

>> When I am employing tally marks, I make a vertical line for each of
>> the first four items, and a diagonal line through the four to indicate
>> the fifth. My diagonal goes \ (top left to bottom right). I am
>> left-handed.
>>
>> Do right handed people make the diagonal /? I know that my check
>> marks are backwards compared to right-handed writers.
>
>I am right handed and I make the diagonal /, as I have already
>commented - the example above looks wrong.

I am and do, too. I had to do it a few times to check, though. And
it occurred to me when I did it that one of the reasons I make the
diagonal from right to left is that my hand is already to the right of
the first four, because I've been making those marks from left to
right - so that the fifth mark starts naturally from the right because
that's where my hand is.

Which makes me wonder if left-handed people, Tony for example, make
the first four marks from right to left, therefore naturally finishing
off with a left-to-right diagonal.

--

Katy Jennison

spamtrap: remove the first two letters after the @

Tony Cooper

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May 16, 2005, 12:30:06 PM5/16/05
to

My first four marks are made from left to right. That has nothing to
do with left-handedness, though. That has to with layout and spacing.

If I was counting screws, for example, and using the tally mark
system, I'd lay out the list:

Phillips head, 1/2" |||
Phillips head, 3/4" ||
Phillips head, 1" ||||

I wouldn't make the verticals from right to left because I could run
out of room between the first mark and the category.

Theoretically, I could reverse all of the above and make the marks
right to left, but that just doesn't seem normal.

Evan Kirshenbaum

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May 16, 2005, 12:30:45 PM5/16/05
to

I thought you scored in cricket by running from one wicket to another.

--
Evan Kirshenbaum +------------------------------------
HP Laboratories |Yesterday I washed a single sock.
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 |When I opened the door, the machine
Palo Alto, CA 94304 |was empty.
| Peter Moylan
kirsh...@hpl.hp.com
(650)857-7572

http://www.kirshenbaum.net/


Joe Fineman

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May 16, 2005, 12:34:58 PM5/16/05
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"John Dean" <john...@frag.lineone.net> writes:

> In the Brit Civil Service we always called it the five-bar gate
> system because a completed tally of five items looks like a gate
> with four horizontal bars and one diagonal. Very useful system for
> all kinds of running total.

I was in Scotland for a year (1958-9), and was amused to discover that
this artifice was not nearly as universally known in Britain as it was
in the U.S. Quite a few students, if given a list of 100 questions &
asked for the number of yes answers, would put down an
undifferentiated row of marks & then count them one by one. In the
U.S., tallying is such an established folk custom (e.g. for keeping
score in games) that any cartoonist wishing to draw a scruffy fence is
likely to put some tally marks on it.
--
--- Joe Fineman jo...@verizon.net

||: To do good is virtuous, and to wish good to be done is :||
||: amiable, but to wish to do good is as vain as it is vain. :||

Mike Barnes

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May 16, 2005, 12:34:28 PM5/16/05
to
In alt.usage.english, Wood Avens wrote:
>On Mon, 16 May 2005 15:36:44 GMT, the Omrud <usenet...@gmail.com>
>wrote:
>
>>Tony Cooper spake thusly:
>
>>> When I am employing tally marks, I make a vertical line for each of
>>> the first four items, and a diagonal line through the four to indicate
>>> the fifth. My diagonal goes \ (top left to bottom right). I am
>>> left-handed.
>>>
>>> Do right handed people make the diagonal /? I know that my check
>>> marks are backwards compared to right-handed writers.
>>
>>I am right handed and I make the diagonal /, as I have already
>>commented - the example above looks wrong.
>
>I am and do, too. I had to do it a few times to check, though. And
>it occurred to me when I did it that one of the reasons I make the
>diagonal from right to left is that my hand is already to the right of
>the first four, because I've been making those marks from left to
>right - so that the fifth mark starts naturally from the right because
>that's where my hand is.

But is your hand likely to be there when tallying for real? Especially
when marking your daily scratch on the cell wall?

>Which makes me wonder if left-handed people, Tony for example, make
>the first four marks from right to left, therefore naturally finishing
>off with a left-to-right diagonal.

I'm not Tony but I can answer for this left-hander. I make the first
four marks starting with the leftmost and ending with the rightmost,
probably because that's the way I usually write. I make the fifth mark
with a right-to-left diagonal. Bottom-right to top-left, that is, not
the way you do it. I believe that I make the fifth mark that way simply
because it's the easiest (of the four possibilities) for a left hander,
muscle-and-joint-wise. I'm surprised to learn that you make the fifth
mark from top right to bottom left - I'd have thought that bottom-left
to top-right would have been easier.

No way is "right" or "wrong", of course.

Mike Barnes

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May 16, 2005, 12:44:35 PM5/16/05
to
In alt.usage.english, Evan Kirshenbaum wrote:
>I thought you scored in cricket by running from one wicket to another.

Not quite. What you're thinking of is the run from one *crease* to the
other, I believe.

Areff

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May 16, 2005, 12:46:19 PM5/16/05
to
Tony Cooper wrote:
> When I am employing tally marks, I make a vertical line for each of
> the first four items, and a diagonal line through the four to indicate
> the fifth. My diagonal goes \ (top left to bottom right). I am
> left-handed.
>
> Do right handed people make the diagonal /?

I either do that or I make a horizontal line. I'm right-handed (NTTARWT).


Chris Malcolm

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May 16, 2005, 1:29:16 PM5/16/05
to

And we've never seen the great detective (or court room lawyer)
confounded by a criminal who wrote with the left hand but stabbed with
the right, a not uncommon variety of unorthodox handedness. Truth is
stranger than fiction :-)

--
Chris Malcolm c...@infirmatics.ed.ac.uk +44 (0)131 651 3445 DoD #205
IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK
[http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/]

Evan Kirshenbaum

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May 16, 2005, 1:24:34 PM5/16/05
to
Mike Barnes <may...@mikebarnes.fsnet.co.uk> writes:

> In alt.usage.english, Evan Kirshenbaum wrote:
>>I thought you scored in cricket by running from one wicket to another.
>
> Not quite. What you're thinking of is the run from one *crease* to the
> other, I believe.

Could be. I never could get the hang of the game. Largely, I'm sure,
because it isn't (or is very rarely) on TV here, and so there's no
opportunity to practice watching it. Let alone playing it.

--
Evan Kirshenbaum +------------------------------------
HP Laboratories |The purpose of writing is to inflate
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 |weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning,
Palo Alto, CA 94304 |and inhibit clarity. With a little
|practice, writing can be an
kirsh...@hpl.hp.com |intimidating and impenetrable fog!
(650)857-7572 | Calvin

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Chris Malcolm

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May 16, 2005, 1:32:58 PM5/16/05
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>>>Tony Cooper spake thusly:

There are two major varieties of left hander, the curled writers, who
curl their hands round so that they write from above the line, and
those who hold the pen in a mirror image of a normal right handed
grasp. Makes a big difference to what is a natural slope or curve.

Donna Richoux

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May 16, 2005, 2:33:46 PM5/16/05
to
the Omrud <usenet...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Tony Cooper spake thusly:

>resemble.
> >
> > When I am employing tally marks, I make a vertical line for each of
> > the first four items, and a diagonal line through the four to indicate
> > the fifth. My diagonal goes \ (top left to bottom right). I am
> > left-handed.
> >
> > Do right handed people make the diagonal /? I know that my check
> > marks are backwards compared to right-handed writers.
>
> I am right handed and I make the diagonal /, as I have already
> commented - the example above looks wrong.

So far, nobody reports doing it the way I do, except the Wikipedia
article. I am right-handed. After the ||||, I make the slash in the
direction \. Yes, that means actually conveying the pencil tip the
mighty distance clear across the bundle of marks, but somehow I'm able
to achieve that. And it means my hand *ends* in a convenient position to
start the next bundle -- so there.

Do any of you apply this "start where it's closest" to crossing your
"t"s, as well? I move back to the left and draw the crossbar to the
right.

--
Swings, roundabouts -- Donna Richoux

John Dean

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May 16, 2005, 2:47:27 PM5/16/05
to


For a very primitive form of scoring. No respectable scorer would use
the method and certainly not in any serious match.
--
John Dean
Oxford

Mike Barnes

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May 16, 2005, 2:39:18 PM5/16/05
to

Agreed. I'm of the mirror-image variety, which explains my expectation
that a right-hander would probably find it easier to do things the
mirror image of the way I do them as a left-hander. Obviously that's not
a particularly strong expectation.

Tony Cooper

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May 16, 2005, 2:57:24 PM5/16/05
to
On 16 May 2005 17:32:58 GMT, Chris Malcolm <c...@holyrood.ed.ac.uk>
wrote:

>There are two major varieties of left hander, the curled writers, who
>curl their hands round so that they write from above the line, and
>those who hold the pen in a mirror image of a normal right handed
>grasp. Makes a big difference to what is a natural slope or curve.

Yes. I started out as "curled writer", but the nuns somehow thought
this was the mark of the devil or something. They'd patrol the room
with a wooden ruler with a brass edge-insert and smack the back of the
hand of the curled writer.

Consequently, I write "normally" now except that my wrist is a bit
more inside than most writers. Some instinctive, protective action, I
suppose.

I usually print, though, and even print when taking notes or
hand-writing large blocks of text. My cursive is so illegible - even
to me - that I print. Again, I blame this on the nuns. They made my
writing motion so alien to what my instincts wanted, that my letters
just don't come out right.

Once, I had to write a note of permission to one of my children's
teachers. The teacher called to say that my child had submitted an
obvious forgery and was so stupid about it that the child had printed
the note rather than writing the note like an adult would.

John Dawkins

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May 16, 2005, 3:04:17 PM5/16/05
to
In article <1gwo8md.qrnm1i1ptqe6jN%tr...@euronet.nl>,
tr...@euronet.nl (Donna Richoux) wrote:

My (left-handed) t is crossed right to left. My Os are formed
clockwise. [Exception: cursive lower case o, as in "cooper". One never
gets past the Palmer method it seems.]

--
J.

Evan Kirshenbaum

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May 16, 2005, 2:57:25 PM5/16/05
to
Chris Malcolm <c...@holyrood.ed.ac.uk> writes:

> And we've never seen the great detective (or court room lawyer)
> confounded by a criminal who wrote with the left hand but stabbed
> with the right, a not uncommon variety of unorthodox
> handedness. Truth is stranger than fiction :-)

I suspect that both my dad and my son would do the opposite, although
never having seen either of them stab anybody, I can't be sure.

--
Evan Kirshenbaum +------------------------------------
HP Laboratories |"Revolution" has many definitions.
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 |From the looks of this, I'd say
Palo Alto, CA 94304 |"going around in circles" comes
|closest to applying...
kirsh...@hpl.hp.com | Richard M. Hartman
(650)857-7572

http://www.kirshenbaum.net/


M. J. Powell

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May 16, 2005, 3:21:04 PM5/16/05
to
In message <i1ah81hg02h3aq5hh...@4ax.com>, Tony Cooper
<tony_co...@earthlink.net> writes

>On Mon, 16 May 2005 07:47:59 GMT, the Omrud <usenet...@gmail.com>
>wrote:
>
>>Sara Lorimer spake thusly:
>>
>>> <casioc...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> > Well, they're not exlusive to prisoners, but you see them often in
>>> > tails of prisoners using them in solitary confinement to count the
>>> > days; 1, 2, 3, 4 vertical scratches on the wall, and a fifth scratch
>>> > across them, and so on.
>>> >
>>> > As I said, nails and cement are not the only means of making them, ink
>>> > and paper seem to do just fine.
>>> >
>>> > What do you call them?
>>>
>>> Tally marks. Here are some other people make them:
>>>
>>> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tally_marks>
>>
>>Firstly, the example "from Europe" has the diagonal going the wrong
>>way. But more interestingly, these are of course tally marks, as
>>they are keeping count, but any other type of marks keeping count
>>would also be tally marks. These specific marks are, as John and I
>>have separately attested, called after the "gate" which they
>>resemble.
>
>When I am employing tally marks, I make a vertical line for each of
>the first four items, and a diagonal line through the four to indicate
>the fifth. My diagonal goes \ (top left to bottom right). I am
>left-handed.

I'm left-handed too. I make tick marks backwards. \

\

\/

Mike

M. J. Powell

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May 16, 2005, 3:18:29 PM5/16/05
to
In message <ll6fdt...@hpl.hp.com>, Evan Kirshenbaum
<kirsh...@hpl.hp.com> writes

>"M. J. Powell" <mi...@DeLeTe.pickmere.demon.co.uk> writes:
>
>> In message <1116182797.0...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
>> casioc...@gmail.com writes
>>>
>>>
>>>Well, they're not exlusive to prisoners, but you see them often in
>>>tails of prisoners using them in solitary confinement to count the
>>>days; 1, 2, 3, 4 vertical scratches on the wall, and a fifth scratch
>>>across them, and so on.
>>
>> That's also the method of scoring in cricket.
>
>I thought you scored in cricket by running from one wicket to another.

The scorer scores the runs run.

Mike

R H Draney

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May 16, 2005, 3:52:42 PM5/16/05
to
Evan Kirshenbaum filted:

>
>Chris Malcolm <c...@holyrood.ed.ac.uk> writes:
>
>> And we've never seen the great detective (or court room lawyer)
>> confounded by a criminal who wrote with the left hand but stabbed
>> with the right, a not uncommon variety of unorthodox
>> handedness. Truth is stranger than fiction :-)
>
>I suspect that both my dad and my son would do the opposite, although
>never having seen either of them stab anybody, I can't be sure.

My brother is firmly right-handed in most things, certainly more so than I, but
he fires a rifle lefty (or did, before the Army got ahold of him)....r

ceceliaa...@yahoo.com

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May 16, 2005, 4:12:51 PM5/16/05
to

I'm right-handed. Four hash marks |||| with \ crossing them. When I
use these, I'm going through a written list and determining how many
items on the list meet the requirement, or keeping track of number of
occurrences over a period of time (how many times a speaker says "um,"
for instance), so I'm not making the whole five-stroke set at once.

Note: "hash marks." I don't believe I've ever heard "tally marks."
But then, the last couple decades, I've run into people who've never
kept count that way.

When I'm writing, I usually make the T cross-bar from right to left.
When a word has more than one mark separate from the continuous line --
i-dots and/or t-crosses -- the marks get made from right to left. For
example, in "writing," the i in -ing is first.

Cece

Evan Kirshenbaum

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May 16, 2005, 5:07:39 PM5/16/05
to
R H Draney <dado...@spamcop.net> writes:

> Evan Kirshenbaum filted:


>>
>>I suspect that both my dad and my son would do the opposite,
>>although never having seen either of them stab anybody, I can't be
>>sure.
>
> My brother is firmly right-handed in most things, certainly more so
> than I, but he fires a rifle lefty (or did, before the Army got
> ahold of him)....r

I'm firmly right-handed for everything I know of except shooting pool,
for which I'm firmly left-handed. Go figure.

--
Evan Kirshenbaum +------------------------------------
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Narelle

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May 16, 2005, 5:47:10 PM5/16/05
to

I am a leftie and do mine \ starting from top left ending bottom right.
I have just checked my DD Grade 2 maths book (AU "Kookaburra Maths" by
Nightingale), which has a section on tallying. The example in the book
shows the fifth tally mark / starting right hand top and finishing left
hand bottom, although only on a slight angle. Looking at her workbook
shows that she started doing it this way, but then changed to my way; I
assume influenced by the way she saw me doing it whilst teaching her.
She is right-handed. It has been a few months since we did tallying
lesson, so I have just got her to draw some more. She did four ||||
then, on her fifth put her pencil to start it / way, then corrected
herself and went \. My DS did it \, but he is naturally left-handed.
I am of the curled writers, but I also turn the page side-ways, so I
effectively write from bottom to top, and above the letters.
N

J. J. Lodder

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May 16, 2005, 5:47:29 PM5/16/05
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Donna Richoux <tr...@euronet.nl> wrote:

> J. J. Lodder <nos...@de-ster.demon.nl> wrote:
>
> > Strange how counting and telling are mixed.
> > German and Dutch have 'zahlen', 'tellen', for counting,
> > and 'erzahlen', 'vertellen', for telling tales.
> >
> > In English only the seconds meaning survives,
> > but it seems plausible that a trace of earlier usage survives
> > in 'tally',
>
> In English to "recount" a story, and an "account" can be a story...
> I imagine it's closely connected to the French "conte" meaning "tale"
> and "raconter" (to tell a story). But the French "to count" is the
> slightly different "compter."
>
> What does American Heritage say about the early roots?... Yes, it says
> that the old French "conter" and "computer" (!) both come from the same
> Latin root, "computare."

Yes, but I still don't see the connection.

> And the t-words? AHD says that "tally" and "tell" are not connected,
> interestingly enough. For "tally":
>
> ETYMOLOGY: Middle English taly, from Anglo-Norman
> tallie, from Medieval Latin tallia, from Latin tlea,
> stick.
>
> And for "tell":
>
> ETYMOLOGY: Middle English tellen, from Old English
> tellan. See del-2 in Appendix I.
>
> Which leads to a list with uncopyable characters, but include "tell,"
> "tale," the Dutch "taal" (language), and "talk."

Dutch has 'turven' for tally,
which I also don't understand.

Turf is peat, as fuel, and turf was cut in standard sizes.
Perhaps the tally method was used to count the production?

Jan

Donna Richoux

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May 16, 2005, 6:21:21 PM5/16/05
to
J. J. Lodder <nos...@de-ster.demon.nl> wrote:

> Donna Richoux <tr...@euronet.nl> wrote:
>
> > J. J. Lodder <nos...@de-ster.demon.nl> wrote:
> >
> > > Strange how counting and telling are mixed.
> > > German and Dutch have 'zahlen', 'tellen', for counting,
> > > and 'erzahlen', 'vertellen', for telling tales.
> > >
> > > In English only the seconds meaning survives,
> > > but it seems plausible that a trace of earlier usage survives
> > > in 'tally',
> >
> > In English to "recount" a story, and an "account" can be a story...
> > I imagine it's closely connected to the French "conte" meaning "tale"
> > and "raconter" (to tell a story). But the French "to count" is the
> > slightly different "compter."
> >
> > What does American Heritage say about the early roots?... Yes, it says
> > that the old French "conter" and "computer" (!) both come from the same
> > Latin root, "computare."
>
> Yes, but I still don't see the connection.

Perhaps something like "Clerk! Account for what became of that wagonload
of turnips!" The clerk would have had to use both words and numbers...
"Doing the accounts" might have meant more than just adding columns of
figures but also providing some sort of narrative...

Just a guess. Some people around here have French etymological info.

This also makes me think of "reckon" and "rekening" and all, which ties
numbers to thinking and depending on things -- and that ties to "you can
count on me..." It's all very odd.


>
> > And the t-words? AHD says that "tally" and "tell" are not connected,
> > interestingly enough. For "tally":
> >
> > ETYMOLOGY: Middle English taly, from Anglo-Norman
> > tallie, from Medieval Latin tallia, from Latin tlea,
> > stick.
> >
> > And for "tell":
> >
> > ETYMOLOGY: Middle English tellen, from Old English
> > tellan. See del-2 in Appendix I.
> >
> > Which leads to a list with uncopyable characters, but include "tell,"
> > "tale," the Dutch "taal" (language), and "talk."
>
> Dutch has 'turven' for tally,
> which I also don't understand.
>
> Turf is peat, as fuel, and turf was cut in standard sizes.
> Perhaps the tally method was used to count the production?

Maybe, they probably were in countable blocks. Or maybe the similarity
between the Dutch word for peat and the Dutch word for tally is just
coincidence. A lot of old, short words in English have no connection to
identically-spelled old, short words. You don't own one of those Dutch
etymological dictionaries, do you?

--
Best -- Donna Richoux

Mike Lyle

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May 16, 2005, 6:29:40 PM5/16/05
to
Evan Kirshenbaum wrote:
> Mike Barnes <may...@mikebarnes.fsnet.co.uk> writes:
>
>> In alt.usage.english, Evan Kirshenbaum wrote:
>>> I thought you scored in cricket by running from one wicket to
>>> another.
>>
>> Not quite. What you're thinking of is the run from one *crease* to
>> the other, I believe.
>
> Could be. I never could get the hang of the game. Largely, I'm
sure,
> because it isn't (or is very rarely) on TV here, and so there's no
> opportunity to practice watching it. Let alone playing it.

Seek out any local Indo-Pak/West-Indian communities. You could get
hooked: be warned. The food'll be good, too -- ask Hershberger.

--
Mike.


Aaron Davies

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May 16, 2005, 6:27:54 PM5/16/05