I'm a big fan of Roman numerals. Maybe it's because I'm a closet elitist and I know that my understanding of Roman numerals makes me better than you. Or, if not you, someone who knows less than you, or does fewer crossword puzzles.
Vanity aside, the fun thing about Roman numerals is how they manage to simplify some numbers and complicate others. Take dates, a commonly Roman-ed numeral form. This year, MMXI, that doesn't save us any button pressing when we type it. But back in 2000, we were at a nice-and-easy MM. What fun! Equally fun was the 1980s, but for opposite reasons. At the close of an episode of Taxi, got example, we might see the letters "MCMLXXXIII" which is a pretty hilarious way of saying "1983." Am I right?
The Super Bowl is one common way a lot of people come across Roman numerals. This year is Super Bowl XLV, which looks a million time cooler on advertisements than "45." And guess what, number (or football) fans? In just five years, it's gonna be Super Bowl L. Wow. That'll be easy to type.
Here's one of my favorite Roman numeral gags: