The Anonymous Widower

Bad Maths

I’m 65 this year.  Could my generation’s everyday maths, be better, as we had to cope with £sd? When I served in a bar in the 1960s, you learned things like 3 bottles of Guinness at 1s. 8d. were 5s. You had to do it all mentally, as the till was just a drawer.

I also played a lot of cribbage and other card games.  Many of which need a certain amount of arithmetical dexterity.  So have computer games lost all this?

But in some ways my biggest advantage was that my mother had very good arithmetical skills, partly brought on as she had been a comptometer operator before and during the Second World War, at Reeves just down the road from where I now live. So when we travelled in the car, she would always set me puzzles.

Interestingly, comptometer is rejected by the computerised spelling on this computer and WordPress.

May 22, 2012 - Posted by | Computing, News | , ,


  1. Your Generation Maths, Family Puzzles, Playing Cribbage & other Games . . . are the Pluses for developing Great Brains . . .

    Plus Frank Hornby’s Liverpudlian Toys . . . Creating Builders & Problem Solvers . . . Mecano, Hornby Trains
    Plus 1930’s & WW2 . . . where not only Kids having to be creative with Playing . . . Adults, needing to think outside of the square . . . to win the War, when Britain stood alone . . .

    This is why Great Britain developed some of the Greatest Minds & Designers . . . Great Inventions.

    The Golden Oldies . . . lived in the Golden Era

    How can we hand these Opportunities, to Gen XYZ . . . ???
    Radar, Hovercraft, Jet Engines, Bouncing Bombs, PLUS Hundreds of other Designs & Inventions: including Artemis Project Management . . . How can we pass on these Opportunities ?

    Comment by Steam Lover | May 22, 2012 | Reply

  2. We did basic mental arithmetic from the infant school classes..we did old fashionbed tables…£sd made for good mental agility.
    OK metric stuff might be easier…but the basic disciplines of arithmetic have served us well.
    I worked as a “Saturday girl ” in a well known department store selling shirts for 19/11. Try explaining that to a modern day 15 year old….

    Same as spelling…Billy Gates might be relied upon (depending on if the PC is set to UK spellings or not).
    However, it doesnt make up for a good Primary school education ……… get the basics right..and then build upon them.

    We are not talking private school…but inner city council house estate school with less than 200 the 1950’s and 60’s.

    Very different to today…

    Comment by apricotsilk | May 22, 2012 | Reply

    • Agreed. I didn’t have a problem wit spelling, as I spent most of my childhood in a print works. My father taught me to use a dictionary and a gazeteer. I still use the dictionary, but Google maps do the second.

      I went to a bad primary school in a lovely Art Deco building and a great Grammar School in rather a ruin. If that proves anything, it’s that teachers are more important than buildings.

      Comment by AnonW | May 22, 2012 | Reply

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