Additional Math Pages & Resources

Friday, September 11, 2009

Signs and Symbols

Symbols are visual shorthand used to represent something else. Other common terms are signs and ideographs (or ideograms). I have a couple books about symbols and there are thousands of examples.

In essence, these marks are used to represent an idea or concept - sometimes vaguely and sometimes quite precisely.

For example, this means recycling ♲   and this means recycling a certain type of plastic 

  it's clear that this means a snowman. That's a cheerful but irrelevant symbol.

you might be slightly down when you use this, but it's not as serious as using this! 

In mathematics, we use lots of symbols, both to save space, and to convey specific meanings that are inconvenient to express in words.

Here are a few for you to review:

+ - × ÷  ± =    Arithmetic, easy right?

How about these modified equal signs?

Neither approximately nor exactly equal to

Almost or approximately equal to

Less than or equal to

More than or equal to

Still with me? Let's try a few more

⋚  This must mean everything because its title is Less-Than, Equal-To or Greater-Than

  This is a Closed Union with Serifs and Smash Product. I have no idea what that means!

  Summation with Integral

It goes on and on. Every technical field is filled with symbols.

��__  This invisible musical symbol is called a clef. It appears only if your software supports it. My desktop displays this symbol but the browsers don't!

(This introduces a concept called FONTS and we don't want to get started on that slippery slope!!!)

Symbols are useful in everyday life too.

This means a place of interest, and you can get information about it here  i

This means infinity (and literally there is no end to the symbols you can create)
 .  In American we call this a period. The English call it a FULL STOP and we might as well make one now

No comments:

Post a Comment

Type your comment here