Tag Archives: roman


No, “romanettes” is not the name of a female punk band. It’s the little-known and scarcely used terminology for referring to little roman numerals. This comes up a lot in my tax class. We find ourselves saying, “four little eye,” to verbalize (iv). When you think about it, “four little eye” could be quite confusing. It could be interpreted as (4)(i). Saying “romanette four” is clearer.

Here’s a humorous exchange from the Supreme Court regarding romanettes:

MS. SAHARSKY [of the Solicitor General’s office]: What I’m suggesting, Your Honor, is that the “that” refers to everything that is in Romanette (i) and (ii) up to the break with “committed by.” So that it is an offense that is a misdemeanor and has as an element “committed by.” You know, these — these two different clauses both modify “offense,” just as a grammatical matter, not looking at this Romanette (i) and (ii), but just looking at that sentence.


MS. SAHARSKY: Oh, little Roman numeral.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: I’ve never heard that before. That’s — Romanette.

(via The Volokh Conspiracy)