Sunday, May 23, 2010

Of tables and schools

Often I've wondered why we said our tables (multiplication tables I mean) this way:

Two ones are two
Two twos are four
Two threes are six

..and so on.

I always thought it was a serious grammatical error since it should read "two (times) 1 IS two", "two (times) two IS four" etc. Only recently when Subhash was talking to Rohan and doing the two table (oh don't ask me why an 8 month old needs to know that, Subhash also holds up his toy, lets it fall and says "Chinnu, this is gravity" And I am like?!?!) that I realized that in our tables the number of which the table is recited is not primary, it is just a count. The 1,2,3,4 are the ones that are referred to and so it makes perfect grammatical sense!

Two 1s are Two ==> 1 1 = 2
Two 2s are Four ==> 2 2 = 4
Two 3s are Six ==> 3 3 = 6 (see? Now you know what I mean, I always used to think of it as 2 2 2 in my mind and not 3 3)
Two 4s are Eight ==> 4 4 = 8 (and not 2 2 2 2 = 8)

..and so on.

Well, at least I didn't make mistakes in English when I was reciting my multiplication tables and am I relived about this guilt after all these years!!!

On the topic of schools and tables and all that good stuff, this year's CBSE topper was from NPS Indiranagar which happens to be one of the better schools in India and is <3 KM from our place :)


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