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Q&A #3032 |
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Blame it on the Latin language. The word quadratic came from a word that literally means "to make square". The old root, something like Esquadrare, is also the root of our word for square. A quadratic equation, x^2-5x+6 is an equation that gives the area of a rectangle with sides of x-3 and x-2, for instance. Not all quadratics are parabolic. Ellipses are also quadratic equations, as are circles and hyperbolas. We can also talk about quadratic surfaces in three space, so a parabolic curve would not be a good general name for ALL quadratics. You can find more about the origins of these words at MATH WORDS, AND SOME OTHER WORDS OF INTEREST http://www.geocities.com/paris/rue/1861/etyindex.html Good luck -Pat Ballew, for the Teacher2Teacher service
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