# Duodecimal/Talk

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I am flummoxed by the correct name for this body part, but I know how to count to 144 on my fingers using my thumbs as marker and counter - what do you call the finger-lengths from joint to joint? Take your hand (R, L, whatever works for you) and touch your thumb to the farthest finger-length on the index finger = 1. then the next length down = 2. the one closest to your palm = 3; then you move your counting to the middle finger (4,5,6), ring finger (7,8,9), little finger (10,11,12). Mark the first length on the OTHER hand with your thumb. Start over = 13-24. Etc. You can tally a gross of whatever you need to count without writing. MOST convenient, and often used as an explanation for the use of duodecimal systems in ancient Mesopotamia - and hence in Astrology, Astronomy, Chronology, etc., since we all adopted their version of that. I learned this at my father's knee, but I think I saw it confirmed in one of Eviatar Zerubavel's books on time. --MichaelTinkler.
The bones are called phalanges. There are 14 per hand (the 12 you mention, plus 2 for the thumb). --Zundark

Aha! Thank you. Yes, one uses the thumb to touch the phalanges.

I post a question on the Decimal/Talk page sometime ago about using the thumb to count the finger joints and finger tips in a hexadecimal system. That may have been mistaken version of the duodecimal system. I think this tallying method should be part of the article.

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