dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #185

Gili Bar-Hillel abhillel at hotmail.com
Wed Jul 12 10:00:42 EDT 2000

In Israel there used to be some kind of numbering system that started in the 
fifth grade, so that twelfth graders before graduation are still sometimes 
referred to as "in the eighth". Oddly I've only ever heard this applied to 
the upper grades - grade 12 is eighth, 11 is seventh, 10 is sixth - but I've 
never heard anyone call grade 6 second!

This is less confusing than it sounds because grades are numbered in Hebrew 
letters, so you don't say first grade, you say grade Aleph, and on up 
through the *alphabet*, not numbers. (Though actually they are numbers. 
They're a counting system. After the tenth letter you don't go on the the 
eleventh, but count ten plus one, so the eleventh letter actually represents 
20. Now I've gone and confused you all...)

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