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In this article, I don't quite understand the following sentence:

Instead of bothering to sort out that little difficulty, let's see why it is in fact enough to let B be the set of all bilinear functions to R, otherwise known as bilinear forms.

I looked up into the dictionary, but none of the entries can resolve my confusion:

What does "otherwise" mean in this context?

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closed as general reference by MrHen, kiamlaluno, Jasper Loy, waiwai933 Nov 15 '11 at 5:15

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Here, I believe that otherwise is indicating that there is another way to say "bilinear functions". Another way to put the sentence is the following one:

Instead of bothering to sort out that little difficulty, let's see why it is in fact enough to let B be the set of bilinear functions to R, also called bilinear forms.

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"Otherwise known as" here is synonymous with "also known as" or "technically known as". The term is being defined in reverse; they are introducing the concept of B as a set of "bilinear functions to R", and then naming this concept. If they had restructured this to use the official name first and then tell you what a bilinear form was, you might not get that far; you'd become confused and flip back to see if you missed something, or think it was over your head and give up.

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