- Roman numerals
- Roman numeralsare used less often than formerly, but still appear on older clock faces, on the preliminary pages of books, and to represent dates that follow the copyright symbol in the credits of cinema films and television productions. The main principle is that a sequence of letters having the same value or decreasing in value represents positive values, whereas a smaller value preceding a larger is subtracted from the larger, so that 1990 was written MCMXC (i.e. M = 1,000 + CM = 900 (1,000-100) + XC = 90 (100-10) = 1990). 1999 had to be written MCMXCIX, not MCMIC and still less MIM, as was also suggested, because a smaller value is followed by a higher value at the next available level; for those who reject the subtraction principle altogether as a late and inauthentic compromise, 1999 had to be written MDCCCCLXXXXVIIII. Since the turn of the millennium, the element of subtraction has been reduced and the problems have eased (at the time of writing we are in the year MMVIII). The table below gives the main values for each of the letters used (lower case and capitals).units / i, ii, iii, iv, v, vi, vii, viii, ix / I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IXtens (up to 40) / x, xx, xxx, xl (occasionally xxxx) / X, XX, XXX, XL (occasionally XXXX)50 / l / Ltens (60 to 90) / lx, lxx, lxxx, xc (occasionally lxxxx) / LX, LXX, LXXX, XC (occasionally LXXXX)hundreds (up to 400) / c, cc, ccc, cd (occasionally cccc) / C, CC, CCC, CD (occasionally CCCC)500 / d / Dhundreds (600 to 900) / dc, dcc, dccc, cm (occasionally dcccc) / DC, DCC, DCCC, CM (occasionally DCCCC)1,000 / m / M
Modern English usage. 2014.