Trivia

Hard

IV Is The Roman Numeral Designation For 4 Everywhere But…?

On The International Space Station
On Clock Faces
While Counting Aloud
In Rome

Answer: On Clock Faces

Roman numerals are placed from left to right, in order of value, starting with the largest numeral first. In cases where this would yield four characters in succession (such as the transition from III for 3 to IIII for 4) the traditional method is to use subtractive notation where in the 4 is represented as IV (or 1 subtracted from 5).

The only place you’ll find the rule broken is on clock faces. The traditional arrangement on a clock face whose numbers are designated with Roman numerals is to display the 4 as IIII. While this tradition cannot be traced to a single moment in history, a wide variety of events conspired to make IIII the most popular designation.

The the Wells Cathedral Clock (one of the earliest surviving mechanical clock towers) featured IIII (most likely taken from the enumeration systems of contemporary manuscripts). King Louis the XIV of France preferred his clocks with the IIII and he ordered all his clock makers to build the clocks in such a fashion. Further, using IIII instead of IV creates a pleasing visual symmetry with the opposing VIII (8 O’Clock). Practically speaking, however, the most likely source of the deviation is the clockmakers themselves–using IIII in place of IV requires fewer molds for the numerals.

Trivia

Hard

Which Novel Is Stephen King’s Longest?

Trivia

Easy

In The U.S. People See A Man In The Moon, But In Japan They See A?

Trivia

Easy

Which Defunct 1990s Web Host Is Now Archived By The Pirate Bay?

Trivia

Hard

In The 1920s, Which One Of These Industrial Titans Built An Entire City In South America?

Trivia

Very Hard

What Do Pedologists Study?

Trivia

Hard

Which Sci-Fi Movie Features An Alien Language The Main Actor Was Fluent In?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Film Was The First To Feature A Photo-Realistic Computer-Generated Character?

Trivia

Hard

The First Satellite To Orbit The Sun Did So When It Missed What Target?

Trivia

Hard

The Clones from Star Wars Episode II Were Almost Modeled After Which Actor?

Trivia

Hard

Who Was Responsible For Thrusting “Area 51” Into The Public Consciousness?