Are Roman Numerals Still a Thing?

I am always surprised that Roman numerals are still a thing – although in a very limited space.

Subtly, and humorously, we see them in the Caesar Sportsbook ads, in which Caesar, played by J.B. Smoove, shows us his fingers in a “V” for 5 and an “IV” for 4.  Full disclosure:  HMA is working with Caesars Entertainment to launch their sportsbook here in the Valley.

We see Roman numerals mostly, and oddly enough, intermixed with the written English language.  The AP Stylebook says they are used “for wars and to establish personal sequence for people and animals: World War I, Native Dancer II, King George V.” Certain legislative acts, like Title IX, and Super Bowls also get “Romanized.”

Super Bowl LVI (56) is next, this Sunday, Feb. 13.  And when we say it, we don’t say “L-V-I.”  Weird.

Bullet points on an agenda, bibliography or other English word document switch to Roman numerals after a few other notations, like dots, squares and lower-case English letters have been used.

Transcending time, sometimes you’ll find them on old, fancy clocks, too.

In these cases, it’s fair to say, “When in America, do as the Romans.”

Conversely, when communicating in Arizona, do as Arizonans.  To reach experts on that topic, click here.

Written by
at Feb 9, 2022

Share this article