Plural for Abacus

From: Larry Anderson & Diane Hare <>
Date: Mon Jun 30 21:52:30 1997

>From: Ward Griffiths and/or Lisa Rogers <>
>Subject: Re: 'Home' computer: Definition

>On Sun, 29 Jun 1997, Brett wrote:

>> Which reminds me, my oldest handheld is from Korea. It feels great on my
>> feet! My uncle picked it up for me in the mid-60's tho the design has been
>> around in Asia for centuries.

>Yeah, got three assorted items of that nature myself (abacuses?
>abaci? Never met anybody with more than one to tell me the proper
>Ward Griffiths

Consulting "The Japanese Abacus; Its Use and Theory" by Takashi Kojima
(12th printing, 1960) He uses "abacuses" as the plural form. (very
interesting history that dates way back to Roman days and farther).

  Unfortunately I have a somewhat incompatible model from my book, on my
wall is a chinese abacus with 5 and 2 beads per digit, where the
japanese models use 4 and 1 (which sounds more logical to me, easier to
execute a carry to the next digit.)

  An interesting chapter in the book covers a contest hosted by Stars &
Stripes between a U.S. Pvt. in Macarthur's Finance Disbursing Section,
(an awarded expert operator of calculators of the tim)e and a Japanese
champion abacus operator from the Postal Ministry. As of 1946 the
Japanese Abacuses were still able to beat the latest in American

                            Larry Anderson
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Received on Mon Jun 30 1997 - 21:52:30 BST

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