Numeral is that belonging to or relating to numbers. This term (number) is linked to the expression of a quantity in relation to its unit. For instance: “The first figures indicate a triumph of the official candidate”, “I have read your report and I do not like the sales figure at all”, “For the project to be profitable, we will have to pay more attention to the income figure”.

The expression of a amount composed of two or more digits It is known as a figure. The use of the concept is common in election processes, in reference to the percentages of votes received by the candidates. These percentages are key to knowing who won (that is, who was chosen): “The mayor stated that he mistrusts the figures released by the media and stated that he will wait for the official results”, “The president was dissatisfied with the figure reached by his candidate”.

The figures can also refer to all kinds of statistics, such as population or demographic data, figures economic, etc.: “The Government will analyze the figures collected by the census to decide how to distribute the resources”, “The birth figures have surprised the specialists”.

A figure, on the other hand, is a sign, lyrics or arabic number that expresses an amount. These symbols are called Arabic as they were introduced by the Arabs in Europe, although it is believed that they were invented in India. There is a wide variety of glyphs to represent the figures, divided into families such as the Eastern Arabic numerals and the Western Arabic numerals.

In this case, a figure is understood as each sign that is part of a number in a system, and that you can join with others to express an amount; for example, the number 26 is made up of the figures 2 and 6. It should be mentioned that the term comes from Arabic Al-juarezmi, nickname of Mohamed-ben-Muza, an important Persian mathematician who lived in the 9th century and spread the Arabic numeral system and the principles of Indian mathematics. It is worth mentioning that the numerical system that we use in the West comes from the legacy that these peoples left us.

With respect to origin Of the figures that we use today, there are various theories, some of which seem to force reality a bit, such as the one that suggests that each one was chosen because it has the number of angles it represents; for example, zero has no angles, since it is an oval, while one, if drawn as two connected lines, forms an angle, and so on. It is believed that this is nothing more than a myth coming from certain restless minds but little educated regarding the true origin of the figures.

In the previous image we can see the form that the figures should adopt to comply with this rule of angles; if we take four and seven, the theory It does not seem to hold up very firmly, since they present too many lines that would by no means be as easy to remember or reproduce as those of three, six or eight, for example. In any case, numbers occupy a very important place in our society, since they are among the first concepts that we learn in childhood and they accompany us throughout life to measure our age, the duration of our relationships, our economic income and our performance as students, among many other things (which can also be counted with numbers).

As a curiosity, the word figure has the same Latin root of algorithm, although their meanings are considerably different; An algorithm is a defined series of instructions or rules that allow achieving a specific purpose when reproduced in order, always starting from the same initial state. These are two concepts that intersect in more than one context, since algorithms tend to rely on numbers in one way or another.