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revised How to read “E = (mc)²” so as not to mistake for “E = mc²”
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Jun
19
comment How to read “E = (mc)²” so as not to mistake for “E = mc²”
Hi Mark, is there that official standard for recording for the blind available somewhere, I'd like to improve my answer with this information which I think is relevant.
Jun
18
comment How to read “E = (mc)²” so as not to mistake for “E = mc²”
Thks, no offense taken. See you on another question.
Jun
18
comment How to read “E = (mc)²” so as not to mistake for “E = mc²”
If there was a well defined and consistent Formula-to-English grammar standard available that all factions of science agree on, it'd be something interesting to look at.
Jun
18
comment How to read “E = (mc)²” so as not to mistake for “E = mc²”
On the example you've shown the upvoted answer was clearly upvoted because its purpose was to be amusing which isn't the case here so it's not a valid point of comparison. At any rate, my only point is that in the absence of a consistent and well defined grammar for describing mathematical formulas in English language, the point here is to make sure your audience understands you which I think was achieved here. Since this is what I consider was the goal of this question, I think this solution is also "right". I think I'll leave it to that now. I appreciate the passionate discussion. Thks.
Jun
18
comment How to read “E = (mc)²” so as not to mistake for “E = mc²”
Ok Macro. I won't entertain this any longer, as neither you or I are in a position or has the authority to determine what is more correct or what's not. I think enough food for thought was brought to the table here, and the reader will choose what he prefers. I do not agree that this will come up only in the context of mathematics (it may come up in any scientific presentation, and even non-scientific ones). Based on the votes, I see no reason to be in denial that the public here does find this variation clearer than OP's original one.
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18
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18
comment How to read “E = (mc)²” so as not to mistake for “E = mc²”
Hi Marco, ultimately it's a human brain that generates English language and that and consumes it, and not a computer. In the current context, the square of MC IS clearer than MC squared, especially since the formula ends there. Though if I had to pick, I'd go with choster's "E equals the product of MC, squared". Again, the point here is that it's an English language QA, we're looking for the fine line between elegance and unambiguity. If you want the mathematical answer, I suggest opening another version of this question there. At any rate, I think we killed it to death already!
Jun
18
comment How to read “E = (mc)²” so as not to mistake for “E = mc²”
I find "E equals the square of MC" easier to consume in a listener's mind. I think even mathematically savvy listeners would have no problem understanding this.
Jun
18
comment How to read “E = (mc)²” so as not to mistake for “E = mc²”
Well, I do think that the interpretation "E equals the square of M, C" would be extremely unnatural for a human to perform. For example if I wanted to say "E equals the square of M, C", I would have said "E equals the square of M times C", which I think is also "humanly" readable. Ultimately, I think it's about making the most people understand what you're saying without hammering the auditory's minds with precedence enforcing syntax. English language was never the select medium to perfectly communicate mathematical formulas because of it's openness and "style".
Jun
18
comment How to read “E = (mc)²” so as not to mistake for “E = mc²”
Hi Marco. I agree that from a purely mathematical standpoint, the possibility is there, but it's unlikely for ordinary human interpretation in my opinion. Obviously, based on the upvotes on this variation, a great amount of individuals here don't feel the ambiguity you're referring to. My gut tells me it's because an average English speaker wouldn't consider as far as such alternate meaning. This is afterall an English QA, not a Mathematics one. I think your solution is mathematically perfectly unambiguous, but I think that my current variation is "humanly" readable and unambiguous.
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