[Photo by *clairity*.]
Have you ever noticed how very different little girls are from little boys, in the way they play and in the way they think about things? Princess Kitten has been playing around with Backwards Math again, and my first thought was, “No boy would ever have done this with numbers.”
It seems that, in the land of Backwards Math, little numbers are born with only an equation. As they grow, they need to discover their value. And it is vital that they figure it out for themselves. Other numbers may offer guidance or advice, but they should never give the answer away.
Why is it so important for a little number to discover her value?
So she can get married, of course!
Kitten explained it to me: “Numbers can only marry another number that has the same answer. That’s how they know they will get along, because they have something in common.”
Our Story Unfolds
The following is a series of letters, exchanged between two numbers:
, and .
I usually give Kitten a chance to edit any stories I write about her. As she read this over, she thought up something that she wanted to clarify:
A number like would only be able to get married to another division number or to someone with multiplication. And a number with addition, like , could only marry one of its partners — a subtraction or another addition.
Hmmm. Can you tell we’ve been working on Order of Operations?
From the Kitten’s Mouth
While I was working on this post, Kitten wrote up the story for her own blog:
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