How can I tell when a string is in fact a number?

Roy Smith roy at
Wed Nov 8 13:37:38 CET 2000

"Alex Martelli" <aleaxit at> wrote:
> I dread the task of explaining to a beginner
> why [...] why 3+2j 'is a number'

Heck, you're going to have enough trouble explaining to some people why 
3+2j is a number but 3+2i isn't :-)

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