I just felt like writing the following sentence:

n^k distinct configurations has a 2dfa(k).

It's natural formulation would be "a 2dfa(k) has n^k distinct configurations", but its after 2AM, and I guess I felt fancy. My question is, is the above sentence in blockquote alright?

My suspicion arose due to "n^k distinct configurations" not having any syntactical indication that it is not the subject, and "2dfa(k)" instead is. Maybe, I thought, one should avoid subject-verb inversions even more in such sentences.

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    You mean like A good man was James Black, with stress on good man, and falling intonation on James Black? That's archaic and overly dramatic. Certainly not mathematical, if you're intending to publish. Nov 8, 2020 at 23:21
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    @JohnLawler Yeah, similar to your example in terms of intonation. I think your sentence cannot be misunderstood with inversion, however. Mine, when inverted, can also sound like the "n^k distinct configurations" might have raised $1k and bought themselves a 2dfa(k), except that the verb is not well conjugated. (It will only appear on slides of a seminar, the only audience being the department.) Nov 8, 2020 at 23:47
  • I'm sorry, but it's total gibberish.
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 9, 2020 at 1:28
  • Its 'natural formulation' is much clearer. Until I read you comment in reply to John Lawler I tended towards the opinion of @HotLicks. I'd use the 'natural formulation'.
    – BoldBen
    Nov 9, 2020 at 7:22
  • As Hot Licks says, it's just gibberish.
    – BillJ
    Nov 9, 2020 at 12:15


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