Why is K Used as an Abbreviation for Area?
Date: 11/29/2004 at 22:56:38 From: Christina Subject: Abbreviations used for area Many text books use the letter K to represent area, for example the area of a triangle. Do you know where the letter K came from in terms of why it is used to represent area instead of the letter A, for instance?
Date: 11/30/2004 at 13:12:17 From: Doctor Peterson Subject: Re: Abbreviations used for area Hi, Christina. This question has been asked many times, and I've never found a definitive answer (or even a good guess). My understanding is that A is _not_ used in many lists of formulas because points or angles are commonly labeled A, B, and C. Since K is not the first letter in the word for "area" in any language I know, the most likely explanation is that it is more or less random--the letter someone felt was least likely to be confused with any other commonly used symbol. That would mean that the symbol (variable name) is deliberately NOT an abbreviation at all, of anything. Once someone chose this as the solution to the problem of choosing a symbol for area, others followed, rather than trying to come up with a better one. If you have any further questions, feel free to write back. - Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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