I just started an E&M class and right from the beginning the notation seems so confusing it has to have been done as a joke. Trying to do a problem I run into about 10 different r's I have to keep track of. Capital R Lower case r Lower case r prime The r in spherical coordinates The "squiggle" r (As this professor calls it. Never heard that before this class, but he talked about it like everyone knows. It's just a cursive r from what I can tell.) "Squiggle" r hat Normal r hat prime "Squiggle" r with an arrow over it. The normal r with an arrow over it Normal r with an arrow over it prime So when I see an equation with 3 or 4 different r's in it, my head just explodes. Why is it like this? And am I the only one who thinks this makes it confusing?