Written by IainB
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Monday, 5 September 2011

image for Vague Numbering System to be taught in high school maths
A couple plus a couple is a few

In a move that indicates that mathematics is keeping up with the modern world, the Vague Numbering system is to be taught in maths at high schools across Britain.

"Basically," said Juan Tuthre, head of Modern Maths at Oxford's Queen College, "Vague numbering is the method of assigning rough estimates to numbers. So we would have one, a couple, a few, some, quite a few, a lot, and many for example."

Thanks to work by Fields Medallist, Tuthre, this numbering system can now be used for basic maths.

"Basic addition, such as some plus a lot is many becomes possible under the new scheme," he said. "Simple subtraction is also possible. If you take a lot from many you get some."

The vague numbering system has advantages over traditional maths, in that it reflects how people use maths.

"You go to the shops for some peas, a couple of toilet rolls and a few cases of bottle beer," he said. "It also simplifies calculations, in that a shedload plus a shedload is also a shedload."

The maths curriculum is being altered for the coming school year to allow students to get to grips with the new system.

"Students will be able to fractionalise in the system by the end of the school year, with quantities such as some of many, or a couple of a few. They will even be able to do multiplication. Most of the answers to multiplications is many."

Education watchdogs are alarmed by the new curriculum, calling for it to be scrapped.

"It is yet another way of simplifying the whole education system," said Doctor Doreen Little. "With exams getting easier every year, maths was the one hold out. This is how they've overcome that hurdle. Only a few students will learn some maths now. Many will only learn a bit. It's not good enough, myself and a few like-minded individuals are going to organise quite a lot of protests!"

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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