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Topic: Trapezoid definition
Replies: 26   Last Post: Oct 7, 2004 11:51 PM

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John Conway

Posts: 2,238
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: Is a rectangle a square?
Posted: Oct 28, 2003 4:57 PM
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On Tue, 28 Oct 2003, Walter Whiteley wrote:

> This is a 'standard' difficulty, and some elementary math
> texts get this tangled up.
> The way mathematicians work, think, and use these words,
> we are 'inclusive'. So something with four Equal sides
> DOES have two pairs of opposite sides equal.
> That means is also a rectangle.

Quite right! But let me point out that what this
shows is that it's sensible to define "rectangle" so
that it includes "square".

However, the question asked "is a rectangle a square?"

The correct answer to this is "not always". For example,
a 2 x 1 rectangle certainly isn't a square, while a 1 x 1
one is.

John Conway

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