With knitting, the numbers are everything. It's like giving somebody road directions: I may know how to get there, but unless I can give you accurate landmarks and mileage, you'll end up way off track.
As I was developing the Lacy Popover you see featured here, I thought I was jotting down accurate stitch notations. But then when I did a test knit reading only from the instructions, oops!
It's much like the way our brains skip right over a typo in print, seeing it the way we know it should be, instead of the way it is. Professional proofreaders know that reading text backwards, from end to beginning, can be a helpful way to spot mistakes. But that sure won't work with knitting.
No, with knitting it's all in the numbers. And those pesky little stitch abbreviations.