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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2
votes
2answers
82 views

What do you call the intersection of a rectangle and a circle?

The intersection of two rectangles is called a corner, but is there a word for the intersection of a rectangle and a circle? Is it still a corner? This picture I made probably explains it better: ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

How to pronounce fractions larger than a twentieth, where the last digit of the denominator is a 1 or a 2? i.e. one thirtieth is to 30 as _ is to 31

Disclaimer: I speak British English. I've noticed a lot of differences between the way Americans and Brits pronounce numbers.1 Since the question concerns this, I thought it might be appropriate to ...
2
votes
3answers
157 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
429 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
216 views

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 ...
3
votes
4answers
700 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
1answer
545 views

Capitalization and hyphenation for prefixed adjectives derived from proper names in mathematics

In mathematics, it often occurs that the last names of famous mathematicians are used as adjectives with mathematical meaning. Most of these adjectives are written with a capital letter. Then, ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

Which alternative is best English?

Are there any specific rules in English about how to refer to something that was introduced in the previous sentence? For example, compare these three sentences: Let X and Y be random variables ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

How to make this sentence shorter?

It appears that this site does not support LaTeX, so sorry for the ugly formatting. I would like to explain the sentence Let X ~ N(mu_x, sigma_x^2) and Y ~ N(mu_y, sigma_y^2). with plain ...
1
vote
3answers
81 views

Colloquial meaning of 'exponential decrease'

I often have a hard time figuring out exactly what is meant when exponential/ly is used outside of mathematics. This is especially true for exponential decrease. Take the sentence: The number of ...
-1
votes
1answer
102 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
votes
2answers
43 views

submatrix or sub-matrix? [duplicate]

I 've seen several times "submatrix" in code and manuals. However, whenever I write in my Latex editor, it gets underlined in red, as a spelling mistake. Same things happens now, just as I am writing ...
16
votes
7answers
13k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

What is the word for an arbitrary simple example, typically used with proofs?

Typical usage is with math, or philosophy, proofs. Also typically the simple example disproves the theory, but is of a arbitrarily contrived nature and not something that would naturally arise. Is ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

How did 'up to' evolve to mean 'regardless of', in maths?

Even the OED seems not to have featured it. I couldn't find an explanation on Etymonline. [Wikipedia:] If X is some property or process, the phrase "up to X" means "disregarding a possible ...
0
votes
3answers
76 views

Word for opposite parallel vectors

Given two points, A and B, there are two vectors: A-->B and A<--B which are parallel but pointing in opposite directions. I remember learning as a kid a word which simply defines the line upon ...
124
votes
12answers
13k views

What do you call a disk with a hole in the middle?

Compact Discs, washers and Aerobie frisbees are all disks with a hole in the middle. Is there a word (either mathematical or not) to describe this shape? I mean the specific case of a round hole in a ...
2
votes
2answers
108 views

“less” or “fewer” for countable and uncountable infinities [duplicate]

I feel like this is too grammatical for the math stack exchange, but I am sorry if it is too mathematical for this stack exchange. In math there are several different types of infinity, some of ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

How to pronounce “nₒ” properly

People here (Hong Kong) like to pronounce n0 ("n subscript zero") as "N-nor"; "N-zero" seems to be acceptable. I am wondering what's the most popular pronunciation in English. I am actually a little ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

“derivative” is to “derive” as “primitive function” is to “?”

Basically, what is the opposite verb of "derive", i.e. "to take the primitive function of"? (Context: I'm trying to make wolframAlpha take the primitive of a function, but I can't get formulation ...
2
votes
1answer
184 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Word describing “State goes back to original state after state-modifying actions A followed by ~A”

This word is slipping my mind and it is driving me crazy. Not sure if it is a math term or computer science term, but I use it a lot in development (when I can remember it!) Basically, you have the ...
-2
votes
3answers
100 views

greatest or largest number [closed]

Which of the following statements is correct? a) 7 is the smallest and 9 is the greatest number or b) 7 is the smallest and 9 is the largest number The research so far indicates that both terms ...
1
vote
1answer
336 views
2
votes
1answer
98 views

Definite article in Maths: “(the) function f”

Is the definite article correct/necessary in sentences like the following? A line that intersects (the) circle C. We can see that (the) function f has a maximum at x=0. Draw a line past (the) edge E. ...
1
vote
3answers
67 views

Comma and arithmetics

Should one put a comma before an arithmetic operation? What about long expressions? Example: The final distance is equal to the initial distance plus initial velocity multiplied by time, plus half ...
4
votes
3answers
680 views

Is there a word for opposite numbers?

Example: -100 and +100 - is there a way of describing the relationship between these numbers? Obviously, I've already come up with "opposite", is there anything else? This is for use in an email. ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

If A subtends B, can B also subtend A?

I wrote: Things farther away subtend smaller angles at the eye. Wiktionary has this example of the usage of "subtend:" A 43° angle subtends an arc about ¾ meter long on a circle with a ...
0
votes
2answers
61 views

Should I use 'follow lemma (1)' or 'follow from lemma (1)'?

In mathematical papers, some theorems are proved based on some existing lemmas. Then, should I use Following lemma (1), we prove... or Following from lemma (1), we prove...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

When advertisers say product X has N times less 'thing' than product Y, what do they mean [duplicate]

Here is an example: NESTLÉ a+ SLIM Milk has 15 times less fat than regular toned milk. Source:http://www.nestle.in/brands/nestleaplusslim So the question is this: say regular toned milk has 100 ...
-1
votes
1answer
661 views

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
88 views

Difference between “evaluate as” and “evaluate to”

Does the expression 1+1 evaluate as 2 or does it evaluate to 2? Is one (or both) of the above not proper English or misused in this context, or are they both okay?
-2
votes
1answer
40 views

using amidst in mathematic [closed]

I use a very formal writing style. If I want to say that I calculate a function between 5 times between each two points, can I use amid these ways? The function f(t) is calculated 5 times amidst ...
1
vote
1answer
89 views

Is there a word that means “derivative-able”?

I'm just curious, so is there a word that you could use to express that a mathematical function has a derivative?
1
vote
1answer
226 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: ...
101
votes
3answers
13k 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
67 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
386 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, ...
1
vote
2answers
99 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
0answers
41 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
97 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
750 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
votes
3answers
676 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
269 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
votes
5answers
9k 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.
14
votes
11answers
5k 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
133 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
1k 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
91 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
votes
4answers
319 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 ...