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Not long ago, I encountered a mathematical idea that opened my eyes to a better life. It should have occurred to me on its own, but not until reading other people discuss it on the internet did I consider the value of dozenalism.

Dozenal math is quite similar to decimal math, but instead of rolling over to zero in the ones place and adding a new digit when you get to ten, you do it when you get to twelve. In decimal math, 10 stands for ten. In dozenal math, 10 stands for a dozen.

You can count dozenally by ones fairly easily: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, dozen, dozen-one, dozen-two, and so on. Pretty much just like counting by ones decimally.

But it’s also quite easy to count dozenally (though not decimally) by threes: three, six, nine, dozen, dozen-three, dozen-six, dozen-nine, and so forth.

Or by fours: four, eight, dozen, dozen-four, dozen-eight, two dozen, and so on.

Or by sixes: six, dozen, dozen-six, two dozen, and so on.

It can be quite helpful to abbreviate when you start getting into multiple dozens: dozen, twozen, threezen, fourzen, fivezen, and so on.

I have a job in which I count a great deal of merchandise. This has shown me powerfully how valuable dozenal math is. Almost all merchandise in our society is shipped in dozens or factors of dozens. Counting that merchandise decimally becomes onerous. Counting it dozenally is easy.

Of course, because very few people use dozenal math, if you intend to communicate your tallies to anyone else (as I must), then you need to convert the dozenal count to decimal. That’s trivial with a number like fivezen (dozenal 50, decimal 60), but it becomes tougher when you count three gross sevenzen-four (dozenal 374, decimal 520).

That’s where dozenalism comes in. The fundamental idea is that since dozens are far more practical than tens (a fact obvious to anyone in commerce), we should switch from decimal numbers to dozenal numbers.

That switch could not come soon enough, in my opinion.