Let ε < 0.


A traditional-to-contemporary math dictionary

Filed under: Academic humor — Travis @

Today it is considered an egregious faux pas to speak or write in the crude antedated terms of our grandfathers. To assist the isolated student and the less sophisticated teacher, we have prepared the following list of currently fashionable mathematical terms in academia. We pass this list on to the general public as a matter of charity and in the hope that it will lead to more refined elucidation from young scholars.

What’s Out? What’s In?
thinking hypothesizing
proof by contradiction
indirect proof
reductio ad absurdum
mistake non sequitur
starting place handle
with corresponding changes mutatis mutandis
counterexample pathological exception
consequently ipso facto
swallowing results digesting proofs
therefore ergo
has an easy-to-understand but hard-to-find solution obvious
has two easy-to-understand but hard-to-find solutions trivial
truth tautology
empty vacuous
drill problems plug-n-chug work
criteria rubric
example substantive instantiation
similar structure homomorphic
very similar structure isomorphic
same area isometric
arithmetic number theory
count enumerate
one unity
generally globally
specifically locally
constant invariant
bonus result corollary
distance metric measure
several a plurality
function operator
argument operand
fourth power
random stochastic
unique condition singularity
uniqueness unicity
tends to zero vanishes
tip-top point apex
half-closed half-open
concave non-convex
rectangular prism parallelopiped
perpendicular (adj.) orthogonal
perpendicular (n.) normal
Euclid Descartes
Fermat Wiles
path trajectory
shift rectilinear translation
similar homologous
very similar congruent
change direction perturb
join concatenate
approximate to two or more decimal places accurate
high school geometry
plane geometry
geometry of the Euclidean plane under the Pythagorean metric
clever scheme algortihm
brace, { squiggle
decimal denary
alphabetical order lexicographical order

Michael Stueden, November 7, 1994.


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