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Topic: Mathematical words
Replies: 2   Last Post: Mar 22, 2001 5:02 PM

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William Gripentrog

Posts: 28
Registered: 12/3/04
Mathematical words
Posted: Mar 8, 2001 6:13 PM
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The discussion about spelling and pi have inspired me to think about
some of the taboo words in math.

One of the "taboo" words in math is the word "cancels." I usually tell
my student to stay away from this word if possible becuase of its

The biggest misuse I see with students is the student does a problem
similar to

- and states that the x's cancel. I think this is clearly wrong.

However If a student is doing a problem such a + b = a + x and states
by the addition (or subtraction) property of equality, the a's cancel,
I feel this is clear way of describing their work. If the variables
don't cancel in a - a, what do they do?

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