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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3
votes
4answers
90 views

What do you call a fraction that cannot be written as a finite decimal?

For example, the fraction ⅓ cannot be written, because it repeats infinitely (0.33333333... etc). Is there a particular word for numbers that cannot be written directly, but must be expressed as ...
2
votes
3answers
76 views

Binary counterpart to decade

In logarithms, a decade is a range of values from N up to 1o×N. What term should be used to describe a range from N to 2×N, when using binary numbers? A musical octave covers such a ...
0
votes
4answers
70 views

Math word for an object not centered at the origin?

Is there a word that can describe a geometric figure such as a circle or ellipse that is not centered at origin (0, 0) in cartesian space? I'd like to find an agreed upon mathematical word, but if it ...
5
votes
4answers
845 views

How is the sentence “The symbol % is used to represent percent” read?

I have three sentences in my math textbook that use the symbol %. The symbol % is used to represent percent. Usually denoted by the symbol %. Most calculators have a key with the % symbol ...
1
vote
2answers
25 views

Theorem about uniqueness of solution

I want to write down such a theorem. Theorem. Strong existence and pathwise uniqueness hold for Equation (8). A unique solution is a continuous Markov process. I have a question concerning the usage ...
4
votes
4answers
726 views

What’s the correct usage of “modulo”?

How would we rephrase the following sentence to be grammatical? : 10 modulo 3 equals 1. By "grammatical", I probably mean something along the lines of standard American English. Initially, I'd ...
3
votes
7answers
946 views

Alternative to “minuend” and “subtrahend”

In math, I just learned that when performing subtraction, the terms for each number are as follows: minuend − subtrahend = difference I have never heard of minuend and subtrahend before, and I'm ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

Admits the following description

I have a question about the sentence "The evolution of a process admits the following description". I checked then the phrase "admits the following description" in Ngram Viewer and found no ...
7
votes
2answers
141 views

Symbol and sign in mathematics

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Why are decimals read as fractions by some cultures?

I find it very strange that the top results on Google for "how to read decimal" give me a very strange way to read them - as fractions. I have learnt to read the digits individually and it makes a ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Using “of” before “whether” and general usage of “whether”

I was reading a mathematics text, and I came across a phrase which I thought was written incorrectly. There was a part of a sentence: ... it begs the question whether or not A=B. and I feel this ...
1
vote
3answers
50 views

Words or digits? What is good style for numbers in mathematical writing?

What is considered good style for writing small numbers as words or digits in mathematical texts? I have three concrete examples, are there any differences between those? "M is a matroid of rank ...
0
votes
5answers
189 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

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" ...
27
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
2
votes
6answers
76 views

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

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?
1
vote
3answers
71 views

“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. ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
46 views

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" ...
0
votes
5answers
63 views

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 ...
4
votes
5answers
378 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

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 ...
0
votes
3answers
74 views

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 ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

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)
3
votes
3answers
71 views

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 ...
4
votes
5answers
15k views

Why is “a 100% increase” the same amount as “a two-fold increase”?

and is such interpretation the norm? When something went from 4 units to 8 units, most authoritative sources seem to agree with the use of "a two-fold increase", even though what was actually ...
6
votes
3answers
164 views

“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". ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

“Parametrise” or “parameterise” a curve?

In British English, which one is correct? Does one parameterise a curve or parametrise it?
1
vote
3answers
72 views

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.
13
votes
5answers
9k views

Does “either A or B ” preclude “both A and B”?

In mathematics, "A or B" includes "A and B". Does "either" mean "A or B but not (A and B)" or does it include the possibility of "A and B"? The context might be mathematics, formal logic or ordinary ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

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?
1
vote
1answer
54 views

“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 ...
80
votes
3answers
11k views

Why does “quadratic” describe second power while “quad” usually describes “four”?

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
170 views

Correct phrase for “Chain of equations”

In math, one often writes a = b = c = d to prove that a=d. How is such a sequence of equations called in English? In German, there is “Gleichungskette”, but the direct translation “Chain of ...
0
votes
4answers
65 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
207 views

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?
1
vote
1answer
149 views

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?
1
vote
4answers
203 views

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 ...
11
votes
5answers
912 views

What is an adjective for a very large negative number?

A number that is very large (but not infinite) such as 1,000,000,000,000,000 could be called huge, enormous, large, big, gigantic, etc. A number that is very small such as 0.000000001 could be called ...
3
votes
3answers
144 views

“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 ...
3
votes
2answers
63 views

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 ...
0
votes
3answers
94 views

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 ...
0
votes
3answers
4k views

“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 ...
-3
votes
2answers
91 views

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 ...
0
votes
4answers
114 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
195 views

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'?
1
vote
3answers
153 views

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 ...