# Tagged Questions

This tag is for questions about the usage and meaning of mathematical terminology and the names for mathematical entities in English.

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### What do you call nested circles that are not concentric?

The circles in the image don't have the same center, so they are not concentric. Is there a word to describe circles that overlap (completely or not) so that enclosed circles are smaller than the ...
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Mathematical notations are usually called symbols in the large, yet particular symbols seem to be blessed, they are often called signs ('equals sign', 'multiplication sign', ...). Is there a ...
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### Rhetoric vs. Mathematics: ellipsis/ellipse, parable/parabola, hyperbole/hyperbola

Do ellipsis, parable, and hyperbole from rhetoric have anything in common with the geometric curves ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola used in mathematics? There are three geometric curves known as ...
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### A single word adjective for “having only one interpretation; leaving no doubts”

I am looking for an adjective with a meaning: this is definite, clear, and there's no room for misinterpretation; nothing's left variadic. For example: logical statements have only one, very strict ...
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### The property of a variable that is either discrete or continuous

For example, the arity property of a function might be unary or binary. The (???) property of a variable might be discrete or continuous?
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### “Let A be a set, [let] B [be] a group”

Math proves often start with "let". For example: Let A be a set. This is easy. But what about introducing several things in that manner? Let A be a set, B be a group, and C be a number. ...
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### How to express combinations using “any […] by […]”

I'm writing a text in which I need to repeat combinations of k out of n - for example, "any 2 out of 6" - but I think something the likes of "any 6 by 2" would be more appropriate since the subject is ...
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### Differentiate and Integrate

Further to my last question about the history of calculus terms, I am wondering about the etymology of differentiate the etymology of integrate why we speak of a "derivative", but we "differentiate" ...
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### Fluents and Fluxions

When calculus was first being developed, the terms "fluent" and "fluxion" appeared quite often in the Newtonian works. I am wanting to know the etymology behind these words. I assume that "fluents" ...
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### By …, one yields…?

In a scientific context I have a sentences of the form By doing ..., we yield ... Now, I am trying to neutralize it to something like By doing ..., one yields ... Unfortunately, I cannot ...
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### 3 meter square area vs 3 square meter area

A. 3 meter square area B. 3 square meter area I’m wondering what the easiest way is to clearly express the difference between A and B above. In A, one side is 3 (meters). In B, one side is ...
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### Equation “solved through” or “solved by”?

Which one is better? "The equation x² = 4 is solved through 2 and -2." "The equation x² = 4 is solved by 2 and -2." Which other suggestions do you have? Just by googling, I could not ...
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### Treat Hypothetical Entities as Proper Nouns?

I am working with mathematical papers and commonly encounter situations where the author designates hypothetical entities. For example: We assume that player 1 moves first. Should references to ...
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### How to verbalize a mathematics expression in English?

How do we express a simple mathematics equation in a way that could be understood by most people bad in mathematics? I have a formula like this: Processing Fee = Base Fee x ( Your Bid / Original ...
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### What is the proper term for a ternary digit?

A binary digit is a bit. Is there an equivalent term for a three-state digit? (e.g., a digit representing true, false, or unknown)
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### Correct use of bound/bounded

I am not sure how to correctly use the word bound in this context: All partial sums of two given sequences are bounded by a positive constant. All partial sums of two given sequences are ...
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### Indefinite Article for “s-t-path” [duplicate]

I am currently writing a (mathematical) paper, which considers so called paths in graphs. The start of a path is usually denoted by the letter s and the end of the path is denoted by t. The whole path ...
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### “That… be” construction

We will make the convention that exact categories be skeletally small. Is this construction (used in a mathematical context) correct? There is something that strikes me as odd in that "be". Should ...
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### Uniformalize vs uniformize

In my standard college dictionary "uniformalize" is listed as rare, while "uniformize" is not listed at all, yet wikipedia is the opposite.
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### “The Hypercube algorithm is so …” or “Hypercube algorithm is so…”? [duplicate]

I have an algorithm inspired by mathematical concept called hypercube. I use Hypercube algorithm as a name. Now when I write about it, do I need "the" article in front of the name "Hypercube algorithm"...
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### What is the correct word to describe something that is like a frustum?

Does such a word exist? I came across this question while writing some software that used frustums, making certain parts of it... eh... frustumy?
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### Use of “the” before a defined entity?

Should we write: "x is an element of vector X" or "x is an element of the vector X"? I have always been taught to use the former formulation, but now am asked to use the latter. Am confused. Any ...
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### Why is the letter 'X' given importance in mathematics? [closed]

In mathematics the letter 'X' is always given importance over other letters. Why is it so?
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In mathematics, quadratic means "involving the second and no higher power of an unknown quantity or variable". But the prefix quad- usually describes something that has to do with four, such as quad-...
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### “Scratch-work” synonym

Mathematicians often have to perform calculations on paper (maybe often is an understatement). To describe this, I have always referred to it as "scratch-work". Is there any alternate way I could ...
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### Which ordinal indicator, if any, should be used on symbolic math variables? [duplicate]

Consider: “the n-th root of x,” (or nth) “the a-th derivative of b,” (or ath) and even more troublesome: “the ϑ-th something…” (or ϑth… thetath?) Is there a rule for which ordinal indicator to ...
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### Etymology of “chain rule” (calculus)

In calculus there is a formula known as the chain rule, used for differentiating composite functions. What is the origin of this expression?
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### Equivalent of the word “quadrant”

What would be the equivalent of the word quadrant when referring to 1/2 and 1/8 of an area? I'm looking for a more specific term than simply a half. To give more detail, I'm looking for a term which ...
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### “an hour and a half” or “one and a half hours”

Are both "an hour and a half" and "one and a half hours" correct? If so, is either more appropriate in different contexts? Example context: "The Superbowl starts in less than one and a half hours....
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### What is the Metric version of “Empirical”? [closed]

Most of the Anglosphere uses the metric system, but I cannot find the term for an "empirical" metric. Does such a word exist, if not, why has "empirical" continued to be used by countries that have ...
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### An 'x' or a 'x'? [duplicate]

Suppose that 'x' is a variable in a Mathematics text. What is more correct to say: a. Pick an 'x' or b. pick a 'x'?
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### Is there a name for a “non-rectangular matrix”? [closed]

According to Wikipedia a matrix in the mathematical sense is a rectangular array of numbers. So this: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 7 8 9 10 would be an example for a matrix, while the following would ...
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### What is a word that means “starting from one”?

I'm looking for an adjective that means "to start from the number one." This is so I can describe a sequence that starts from the number one. I want to be able to say something like "Choose any [adj]...
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### Does “less than” really mean “subtracted from”, or is it bad English?

I got involved in a discussion about some Math problems provided in the local primary school education: 20 more than 543 is 563 25 less than 261 is 236 155 less than 310 is 155 355 more than 1233 is ...
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### How do you call the largest unsigned item in a list? [closed]

What is the clearest way to refer to -10 in the example vector v; v = (1, ⅔, -10)? I initially was going to refer to it as the largest entry of v but don't want to run the risk of having the reader ...
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### Adjectives that describe the general shape of fishes

My question has to do with the adjectives one can use to describe the very general shape of a fish if we think of these three axes: tail-to-head axis back-to-belly axis side-to-side axis Question ...
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### Should a mathematical variable at the beginning of a sentence be capitalized? [duplicate]

If a sentence starts with a mathematical variable which normally is lower case, should that variable be capitalized? Or is it better to just avoid starting sentences with variables? x and y ...
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### How to use of “the” with some equations? [duplicate]

I am thinking which one you should use A Lorem ipsun which is the Wigner-Ville transform. B Lorem ipsun which is Wigner-Ville transform. Some says that the first but I like the last one ...
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### A word meaning “to set equal to one” in a mathematical application?

How do I describe the process of setting something equal to 1 in a mathematical application? I often deal with numbers and figures that are set equal to zero when certain conditions are met, and the ...
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### What do you call a sequence of repeating numbers

For example, I have a sequence 77777777777 Is there a word in the dictionary to represent a sequence of repetitive/recurring numbers
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### Is 'times it by' or 'minus it by' correct?

I'm always hearing math instructors, and students, use ‘times it by’ to describe multiplicative operations: “…To find the ratio, you times it by one hundred…” To hear other students phrasing ...
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### Name for Variable satisfying an inequality with equality

In mathematics we often have statements like a x <= b, where a and b are constants and x is a variable. Now there may be variables satisfying the inequality (that is the statement is true) as well ...
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### Word for something partitioned into 16 parts?

On a two-dimensional Cartesian plane we can naturally subdivide the space into four quadrants at the origin. In three-dimensions, the partition into eight parts are known as octants. In four-...
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### What word am I looking for (similar to “subset”)

If... (A) is a subset of (A) (A,B) is a subset of (A,B,C) (B,A) is not a subset of (A,B,C) because order matters. (B,C) is not a subset of (A,B,C) because I only want to compare the front of each ...
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### How to punctuate math fractions?

I was doing the Writing and interpreting decimals exercise on Khan Academy and was asked the following question: What is nine and three hundred two thousandths in numerical form? I read it as "...
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### Antonym of all: none, not all, both?

If you ask someone what the opposite of "all" was, most times the answer will be "none", such as the example of "no one" is the opposite of "everyone". There are three antonyms for "all" on Thesaurus....
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### What is the suffix in indexed math symbols

I've been watching some online courses and I'm having a difficulty understanding what exactly are they saying. The courses are scientific in nature and rather often an indexed symbols appear. The ...
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### Let Ω be a domain in/of Rⁿ

What is the correct preposition in the sentence: Let Ω be a domain in/of Rⁿ. Is there a different meaning for "in" and "of"? Both seem to be commonly used, Google gives about 200.000 hits for both, ...