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Q&A #3032


Quadratics

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From: Pat Ballew (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Feb 06, 2000 at 16:10:43
Subject: Re: Quadratics

  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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