is “the branch of mathematics dealing with the properties and manipulation of numbers.” That is – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  Whereas mathematics is “a group of related sciences, including algebra, geometry, and calculus, concerned with the study of number, quantity, shape, and space and their interrelationships by using a specialized notation”  In the USA mathematics is shortened to ‘math’ but in other parts of the world it is ‘maths’ – with an S, pluralized.  Which, looking at the definitions as stated above, maths would seem to be correct.

And all of that is an example of my pinball brain. Because –

It is windy this morning and the first thing that came into my mind was “Who has seen the wind, Neither you nor I, But when the trees bow down their heads, The wind is passing by” (part of a poem by Christina Rossetti.)

And then I thought – “When I was in grammar school we had to memorize a poem a week, they don’t do that anymore” and then “I guess the only thing kids have to memorize these days is the multiplication tables because that’s the only way to learn them” and then “Multiplication is really just addition.”

And then I thought “Does everyone have bits and bobs of poetry and songs in their memory that just pop-up in reaction to whatever is going on?”

And then I thought “I don’t care for the Rossettis or Wordsworth, except for an odd line here and there that is stuck in my memory.”

And then the bit about the multiplication tables led me to writing this post with a heading of ‘Arithmetic’ because –

An observation of the windy day, led to a bit of poetry, Led to thinking of how much stuff is stuck in my head, Led to thinking how nice it is to have all these bits of poetry (and songs), led to wondering if other people react to their world this way, Led to thinking how sad that children are not asked to memorize poems anymore, or are they? Led to thinking the only thing kids memorize these days is the multiplication tables, Led me to thinking is there another way to learn the multiplication tables?

And now, looking at what I have written I am wondering, should the above paragraph use semicolons instead of commas? Or colons? Should I break that paragraph up? Is it too long and convoluted, will people follow it?  I then just capitalized the L –

I’m thinking – I’m overthinking. I write the way I talk. Perhaps that is my charm?

12 thoughts on “Arithmetic

    1. I asked my husband if he had to memorize poems when he was in school and he said he said – it was part of the elocution classes they had. Poems, especially the kinds we had to memorize, rhyming poems, just stick like super glue!

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  1. Definitely part of your charm! I love the way you write the way you talk. I love reading about your thought processes too. Enjoyable post for sure!

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    1. The shortest way between two points is a straight line except I never have only two points and I never go in a straight line because you miss too much that way.


  2. I have bits of film, as in lines that l like that stick in my head and l’ll say them from time to time because they are apt for the occasions … and at times people look at me as if to say WTF? but then if they don’t know the film, they don’t know the film.

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    1. I’m sure I have some movie quotes in my long term memory – but songs and poetry are more my thing, and if you think people don’t know your film quotes, just imagine how many people don’t have a clue to my poetry or song quotes…

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  3. My then school age son once said in response to my nagging him to spend more effort memorizing the times tables, “I’m just not good at times tables.” I told him nobody is–that’s the point. But it reminded me of the story of the old Irish man who was asked if he could play the fiddle, and who then replied, “I don’t know. I’ve never tried.”
    Anyway, to this day, for some multiplication combinations I still break it down to two easier problems and add them together, rather than ever remember the answer for next time. (e.g. 8 X 7 is solved by adding 28 and 28. Pathetic.)

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    1. Nope not pathetic at all – I do the same thing – oddly enough I do it with the exact example you gave – 7×8. Except that I know 6×8=48, then I just add 8. Except I add 2 to 48 and then 6 to 50 – I can actually do this very quickly. I do most simple math that way –


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