Are You An Arithmodigmaphile?
Happy New Year! Today is 1/1/11; my friend Devesh pointed out that in ten days it will be 11/1/11, in ten months it will be 1/11/11 and ten days after that, my 22nd (11 + 11) wedding anniversary, it will be 11/11/11.
I’ve long had a fascination with the combination of numbers 11:11. As a teenager whenever I looked at my digital alarm clock, either just before nodding off, or, er, just after waking up at weekends, it seemed that the red numbers always glowed 11:11. And no, it hadn’t stopped. Ever since, when I look at a digital clock, on the car dashboard for example, it often seems to be 11:11. I’m not sure if it’s because that pattern of numbers catches my eye, or because I’m now looking for that pattern I tend to see it and forget all the times that the time isn’t 11:11. Or whether it’s some deep, cosmic message. I didn’t deliberately choose 11/11 as a wedding day because of this, (I like to joke that I did it because it’s Remembrance Day and so I’d never forget my anniversary – people in Britain kindly wear poppies to remind me) but with hindsight it’s a curious coincidence. I wonder what 11/11/11 will hold for me.
Two other pals of mine, Walt Hopkins and George Simons, have invented a word for this kind of thing – ‘arithmodigmaphilia’ which combines the Greek words for ‘number’, ‘pattern’ and ‘love of’. Each year, when the day, month and year are equal, Walt sends out an arithmodigmaphilia email. On 09/09/09 he pointed out that it sounded like “Oh nein, oh nein, oh nein”. In 10/10/10 he started by telling us that, apparently, “ten, ten, ten” sounds like “yes, yes, yes” in Chinese. Walt is a management guru and all round sage – check out the arithmodigmaphilia section of his website:
Are you an arithmodigmaphile? Tell me what number patterns you like?
I hope 2011 is a good one for you. I’m optimistic.