Which subject did you hate most at school? Maths is one popular (unpopular?) candidate. Transatlantic note: We Brits add a terminal s to maths; the US doesn’t. Doesn’t dare, possibly from lack of confidence. Discuss.
Why might maths be so hateful? Well, it’s a language and very precise. When we speak English we don’t always get it right first time. We resort to “er” and “um”. There are none of these in maths. There’s only the right way.
But, if my experience is anything to go by, there is one form of maths that’s slightly more congenial - geometry. You can see why. Algebra, for instance, is all numerical theory whereas geometry is lines, angles, circles. Things we can recognise and draw. More reassuring.
Which brings me to wristwatches. VR bought me an elegant (and expensive) Longines for a birthday thirty years ago. I love it. Alas, my family responsibilities have recently grown and I now need to tell time at night in the dark. The Longines can’t do this and thus I wear a cheapo Casio-type with a light feature.
A major difference: the Longines expresses time with hands and a clockface (ie, analogue display), the cheapo with numbers (ie, digital display).
Shelving the Longines has deprived me of more than elegance. For me analogue time is often more immediate; I recognise analogue time via the disposition of the hands. In effect, by the shape they form,. Digital time requires my mind to do a sort of calculation.
Shapes are meat and drink to geometry. To which, it seems, I’m more responsive.
Do shapes instinctively mean more to you than numbers?