XII things which would actually be totally ruined by Roman numerals

Queues of giddy consumers are converging on Apple stores across the world today, clamouring to get their hands on the tech giant’s latest innovation – the iPhone X.

But any of them risk ridicule if they dare to pronounce it iPhone “ex” – that’s a Roman numeral 10, to mark a decade since the first iPhone, and Apple insists it should be spoken as the number, not the letter.

So where else could more widespread use of Roman numerals just plain confuse everybody? Here are some examples that prove sometimes it’s best just to stick with the numbers.

I. SeVIIen

A film about a murderer obsessed with the seven deadly sins becomes “SeVIIen” – which reads kind of like a number said in a rubbish Russian accent.

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Then again, Se7en never really made sense anyway – “Se-seven-en”?

II. D Days Of Summer

This was supposed to be a romantic comedy about love and relationships over 500 days, not a war film.

III. X Things I Hate About You

Well – how many is it?

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Alternately, a film which usually finishes with a girl reading a poem about 10 things she dislikes about a guy becomes a genius discovering mathematical formulae in relationships.

IV. Summer Of LXIX

There would be no wonder as to why Jimmy quit. Bryan Adams knows a song about the hot season of LXIX is never going to get far.

Stick with ’69.

V. II And A S Men

Yes, an S stands for a half in Roman numerals.

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It’s hardly worth talking about Two And A Half Men now is it?

VI. I’m Gonna Be (D miles)

The Proclaimers may be able to walk 500 miles and 500 more to be the man who walks a thousand miles to fall down at your door – but try walking D miles and D more to walk M miles.

It’s some kind of algebraic nightmare, they’d get lost.


As if taking a trip into George Orwell’s dystopian future which is actually our past, 1984, wasn’t already enough to give you a headache.

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VIII. IV Rooms

A film about four hotel rooms on New Year’s Eve becomes instead a hospital drama.

IX. XCIX Red Balloons

There’s a lot of sharp-looking edges on that number to have hanging around balloons – there won’t be 99 by the end of the song.

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X. XL Days And XL Nights

A romantic comedy about a break-up (40 Days And 40 Nights) becomes something which sounds more like a sequel to Project X but with a longer and larger party.

Ironically, Project X would also be affected by the Roman numerals problem – damn it Romans.

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XI. I Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

Just a first-person description of flying over a cuckoo’s nest.

And, of course, it’s equally chaotic when the change goes the other way…

XII. 30

Introducing 30 – a film where Vin Diesel struggles to get to grips with life after his 20s.

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A contrast perhaps to the original, xXx, but look out for the sequel – 32 – where Vin starts to decide to settle down.

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