Is it math or maths?

What did you say? And what did you mean by it?

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Philosophy Explorer
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Is it math or maths?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:17 am

A subquestion would be how logical should language be?
And is the sole purpose of language for communication?

You may find this video interesting:

http://www.numberphile.com/videos/math_maths.html

PhilX

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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: Is it math or maths?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:44 am

It's maths. Math is just offensive, like all yanklishims.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Is it math or maths?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:50 am

Do you do mathematic? No. You do Mathematics.

Hence it is not Math, It is Maths.

Do you do Stats or Stat?
You do statistics, and so the short form is Stats, not Stat.

"Math" sounds fucking horrible. And so for no other reason it's wrong.

The woman on the video might be a great mathematician but she is no grammarian.
Mathematics is a plural taken as a singular and hints at a variety of methods used to achieve numeric analysis. There are more examples like politics for example.
Furthermore the absence of the "period"(yuk) or full stop means that Maths or Math is not longer an abbreviation, but a shortened version of a word, but a word in its own right. There are examples of this too. Focsle is short for Forecastle; Fridge, Admin and so on.

Mathematics is Maths because Statistics is Stats, but mostly it is simply a regard to euphonics..
Last edited by Hobbes' Choice on Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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vegetariantaxidermy
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Re: Is it math or maths?

Post by vegetariantaxidermy » Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:55 am

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
"Math" sounds fucking horrible. And so for no other reason it's wrong.
Love it. :D So true. Sounds as if they have a 'lithp'. They don't seem to realise the language is called 'English'. If it's 'maths' in ENGLISH then it's mathS!

surreptitious57
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Re: Is it math or maths?

Post by surreptitious57 » Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:02 am


I prefer the Americanism since it is easier to say even though I do not use it as such

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Is it math or maths?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:27 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
I prefer the Americanism since it is easier to say even though I do not use it as such
It is not easier to say.
Your tongue has to do more work to clip the end of the word math. Whereas it stays relaxed to end with s.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: Is it math or maths?

Post by Terrapin Station » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:04 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:And so for no other reason it's wrong.
Category error. This isn't the sort of thing that can be right or wrong. It's just conventional or unconventional. "Math" is the convention in some locales. "Maths" is the convention in other locales.

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Noax
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Re: Is it math or maths?

Post by Noax » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:26 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:And so for no other reason it's wrong.
Category error. This isn't the sort of thing that can be right or wrong. It's just conventional or unconventional. "Math" is the convention in some locales. "Maths" is the convention in other locales.
Being brought up with 'math' all my life, Hobbes explanation makes total sense. Yes, it is convention in the USA, but that does not make the convention correct. It is the sort of thing that is right or wrong. I will probably not change my spoken usage of the word, but I will on the forums, just like I usually switch to metric measurements for international conversations. Metric is not more correct, but it is far less stupid.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: Is it math or maths?

Post by Terrapin Station » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:28 pm

Noax wrote:It is the sort of thing that is right or wrong.
By virtue of what?

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Terrapin Station
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Re: Is it math or maths?

Post by Terrapin Station » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:36 pm

I'm not arguing for one way or the other here, by the way, but re the notion of "mathematics" being a plural noun, there is no convention anywhere that employs "mathematic" as a singular noun in any context. For example, there's no convention of saying something like "commutative algebra is a mathematic."

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Noax
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Re: Is it math or maths?

Post by Noax » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:57 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:By virtue of what?
By virtue of the part of Hobbes post that you edited out.
Sure, the singular version is convention in the USA. I will continue its use when in that context.

Oh, and good point on the algebra thing.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: Is it math or maths?

Post by Terrapin Station » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:03 pm

Noax wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:By virtue of what?
By virtue of the part of Hobbes post that you edited out.
You need to be more specific. He mentions other conventions and appeals to following a pattern/parallelism. How does that make anything correct?

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Noax
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Re: Is it math or maths?

Post by Noax » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:21 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
Noax wrote:
Terrapin Station wrote:By virtue of what?
By virtue of the part of Hobbes post that you edited out.
You need to be more specific. He mentions other conventions and appeals to following a pattern/parallelism. How does that make anything correct?
First line, the origin of that specific shortened word.

But I agree that 'performing math' sounds no more wrong to me than does 'performing algebra'. The difference is only that 'algebra' has no history of some longer plural version. Of course 'math' sounds wrong to anybody who was not raised with that convention. So how the alternative word makes you feel is probably not a good argument one way or another.

You do statistics, hence stats. But there is such a thing as 'a statistic', making the example not a great one.
'Politics' is a better example. There is no such thing as 'a politic', similar to lack of 'a mathematic'.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: Is it math or maths?

Post by Terrapin Station » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:27 pm

Noax wrote:First line, the origin of that specific shortened word.
His first line is "Do you do mathematic? No. You do Mathematics." What would that have to do with whether "math" or "maths" is correct?

He's noting that there's no convention of using "mathematic." There's only a convention of using "mathematics."

Okay. I agree with that. But so what? What does it have to do with "math" versus "maths"?

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Noax
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Re: Is it math or maths?

Post by Noax » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:51 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:His first line is "Do you do mathematic? No. You do Mathematics." What would that have to do with whether "math" or "maths" is correct?

He's noting that there's no convention of using "mathematic." There's only a convention of using "mathematics."

Okay. I agree with that. But so what? What does it have to do with "math" versus "maths"?
Sorry to have bothered you then.

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