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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1answer
184 views

Do we have to use ordinals with largest/smallest?

In every-day language, I would say, "Give me the fifth largest pumpkin you have"; that is I would use the ordinal. However, this feels clunky in mathematical texts, especially when reading out loud: ...
98
votes
3answers
12k views

Why is “quadratic” used to describe second power when “quad” means “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 ...
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0answers
28 views

Where does the word “mean” come from in mathematics? [closed]

For the averages, mean, median and mode I can determine that median comes from latin for mid, mode comes from latin for measurement but cannot find where the word mean comes from. Is it an acronym? ...
5
votes
2answers
326 views

What comes after the ducentiquinquagintasexions?

Hypercomplex numbers that use the Cayley-Dickson construction seem to follow a Latin naming convention related to the size of the algebra (which is always a power of two). As an English.SE question, ...
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2answers
88 views

Genitive: with or without “the” [closed]

I would like to know which variant is correct: "Decimal expansion of the first generalized Euler's constant" "Decimal expansion of first generalized Euler's constant" "Decimal expansion of the ...
0
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
0
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0answers
33 views

Nonabelian or non-abelian?

I asked this question on Mathematics Stack Exchange (here) but I haven't had any luck so far. Allow me to copy the question: If I wanted to be scrupulous about correct spelling, is there any reason ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

I want to write some mathematical sentences in the English language [closed]

I want to write these mathematical sentences in the pure English language: In this paper, for every vertex a v in G, we find a shortest path joining v and w in G. My proposed sentences are: In ...
0
votes
4answers
559 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 ...
0
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3answers
593 views

Five percent VS The five percent [closed]

Five percent VS The five percent. Which one is correct and why? Because i.e. this page exists http://www.thetwopercent.com/ or the famous slogan ;) "we are the 99%.". However, on the official apple ...
1
vote
3answers
206 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 ...
5
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5answers
7k views

Divide two into four and Divide two by four

Why does "divide two into four" equal two, and "divide two by four" equal one half? Correct if I am wrong, but this what I have learned recently.
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11answers
4k views

What do you call a cylinder with a hole down the center?

Imagine a 3D cylinder, like a can. Now imagine that almost like an axle spot for a wheel, there's a hole shaped in a perfect circle going down the cylinder. That's the shape I have to figure out the ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Word for position and direction

I'm looking for a word that encapsulates both an object's position and direction. Similar words: a "point" has just a position. a "vector" has a direction and magnitude an "orientation" has just a ...
1
vote
5answers
811 views

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
2
votes
3answers
68 views

Can “paraxial” mean “axis-parallel”?

The Wiktionary lists under the meanings of paraxial: (mathematics) Parallel to one or more axes of the coordinate system paraxial rectangle The respective information was added ...
4
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4answers
306 views

Admitting a unique fixed point in math

I've noticed that some of my professors seem to like to use the term admit in the following sense (from the contraction mapping theorem): "If F is a contraction from a complete metric space to ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

Why must the cent sign come after the value? [duplicate]

Is it pureley by convention that the dollar symbol ($) comes before the value and the cent symbol (¢) come after? For example $1.50 vs $1 and 50¢ Also would it ever be correct to write a value of ...
1
vote
1answer
267 views

What is the general term for “greater than or equal to” and “less than or equal to”?

We call this equation: A = B We call this inequality: A > B A < B What do we call this: A ≥ B A ≤ B ?
0
votes
1answer
62 views

What is the term for representing whole numbers with integers instead of English words?

For example, "I am giving you the ___ form". Where I am using numeric characters e.g., 1 instead of one. I don't think canonical exactly fits here because the English version is seems to be unique as ...
3
votes
1answer
37 views

Why do we have “Coulombic” but not “Coulombian”?

In physics, we have Coulombic interaction. Why do we have "Coulombic" but not "Coulombian"? At first, I think that because the letter b from Coulomb decides which suffix comes after it, but when I ...
2
votes
3answers
106 views

Term for numbers that have at least one non-zero significant digit after the decimal point?

So, a number that is nothing but fractions is "fractional". A number that has a whole number and a fraction is "mixed", if you want to call it that. And the portion after the decimal point is called ...
8
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5answers
8k views

“Lower number” vs. “smaller number”

Is −9 a smaller number than −8? And is −9 a lower number than −8? What is the difference between lower and smaller here?
6
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8answers
29k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
17k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Use of “recast” in mathematics

Do we write the relationship recast, OR the relationship recasts? ("s" at the end) y = 3x       (1) Relationship (1) recast y−3x = ...
3
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1answer
141 views

Does rational come from ratio or ratio come from rational?

Going through law school we often used the latin phrase ratio decideni - meaning the reasoning of a decision. In this context we took the latin word ratio to mean thinking process. Recently I saw an ...
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2answers
77 views

An expression similar to “frame of reference”

I am trying to explain a mathematical point that is used for comparison such that all values are compared to it, like a "frame of reference". I've also thought of "pivot of comparison". Are any of ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

What is the etymological history behind the mathematical “induction” versus the philosophical “inductive [reasoning]”? [closed]

Was talking about it in a (particularly off topic) university lecture on Emperical reasoning (deductive - our logic-math course, vs inductive - "gravity gets taken for granted"). A reason we were ...
0
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1answer
32 views

“conal” vs “conical”

Is there any difference in meaning, usage or frequency between the words "conal" and "conical" within a mathematical context, i.e. when talking about cones?
4
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5answers
1k views

Is there a prefix for “infinite”?

I was looking for a prefix I could prepend to a word to mean an infinite amount of the thing the word describes. I eventually found someone with the same question, and since there were no answers, I ...
1
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0answers
96 views

Is there a fraction prefix for “(one-)third”?

I am a mathematician, working with things called 1⁄k-regular polytopes, dubbed thus by Conway. For the case of k = 2, as in ½-regular, it is naturally pronounced and written half-regular. However, I ...
15
votes
4answers
13k views

How to read exponential expressions, e.g., “2^16”?

How do you say the mathematical function in English: x^y (or xy) For example, how do you say 2^16 (or 216) I know ^ means 'power' or 'exponentiate', but that is the name of the ...
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3answers
3k views

“Parametrise” or “parameterise” a curve?

In British English, which one is correct? Does one parameterise a curve or parametrise it?
1
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1answer
68 views

Use of articles in mathematical writing

I'm writing a section about some mathematical properties and have trouble with the use of articles (indefinite/definite/no). I could come up with the following variants, but don't know which one is ...
3
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
1
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1answer
50 views

what do you call a table that contains counts of items which have 2 characteristic attributes represented by the rows and columns?

What do we call a table that holds counts? A binning table? Frequency table? Unnormalized probability density table? What if, instead of a table, it's just a list? And what if the table has more than ...
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4answers
32k views
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2answers
140 views

How to write this sentence about the square root of a matrix [closed]

Suppose in a math paper I formulated the following sentence: The square root of the matrix A is well-defined, denoted by √A… A friend of mine told me that it sounds not correct.
1
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3answers
109 views

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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
112 views

“3 times a is increased by b” vs “3 times a increased by b” [closed]

In my thinking: 3 times a is increased by b: This is a SVO sentence. The subject is "3 times a", the verb is "is increased" and the object is "by b". Therefore the correct form in math is 3a+b 3 ...
-1
votes
5answers
212 views

How to read “A = (πr)²” so as not to mistake it for “A = πr²” [duplicate]

None of the 26 answers given here, or the 5 answers given here mentions any similarity between the pronunciation of E = mc² and A = πr², yet I still remain confusioned as to what distinguishes the ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

What is the name of this kind of chart/graph?

The chart that shows the value of every aspect of an entity. It represent properties of an entity visually, with areas so that we can easily regconize the strong/weakness, etc... Here is an example: ...
1
vote
2answers
85 views

To be attained at/on?

I'm writing a math paper, so it would probably be easier to answer this question with some background in math. Assume I have a set of "things" and some function turning these things into numbers. I'm ...
5
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
172 views

Term for pertaining to the polar direction

I am discussing a system (in a scientific context) which is described with spherical polar coordinates. This has a radial coordinate r, a polar angle θ and a azimuth angle φ. A diagram can be found on ...
2
votes
6answers
245 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
1answer
156 views

In math, how do you refer to a subscript or superscript indiscriminately?

In a math or physics context, I would like to say the following: In this equation, we subscript or superscript the variables by "eq" which stands for "equilibrium". The "eq" is added as a ...
4
votes
4answers
942 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 ...