Definitions

1. Apr 6, 2005

bomba923

The dictionary definition of minuend,
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=minuend

includes the equation $$50 - 34 = 16$$

How do they decide which equation to put in there? I mean, the values of 50 and 34, did someone just randomly think of two numbers ?
Did they use a statistical process, (for example, looking at the list of random numbers) to determine which values to place in as an example?

For something as important as a formal dictionary definition, how do they choose which values to use as an example? I mean, numerous English dictionaries display this EXACT equation! How, for something as significant and encompassing as a formal definition, did they come up with these values? A guy's random guess, an intensive statistical process, or...etc...
How did they decide on exactly these values?

2. Apr 6, 2005

arildno

Note that 16 is both a square and a fourth power, whereas 50 is EXACTLY one half of an extremely important square number!
But 34 is nothing of the kind!!
Hence, vast philosophical panoramas open up by this exact equation, which no other equation could do equally well.
Thus, the definition of the minuend might be expected to lodge itself deeper in the subconscious of the reader.

3. Apr 6, 2005

BobG

'numerous' is such a vague term. Do you mean many dictionaries use this example or do you mean that two is a great number? (personally, I think 42 is a great number). Or were you just confused by the latin translation of minuend, "numerus minuendus" (number to be diminished)?

Admittedly, I only did a quick sample of about 25 on-line dictionaries, but only 4 had examples at all and only two used the example you noted.

I felt the "Math is Spoken Here" dictionary picked a particularly creative example: (4x - 3) - (-2x +1) = 6x - 4.

Dang, not only can you find a "Math is Spoken Here" dictionary, but you can also find a http://members.aol.com/dcurry4000/math.htm [Broken] webpage (but isn't that recon's avatar?).

Edit: My fingers were inserting random 'e's - must be a subconcious fascination.

Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
4. Apr 6, 2005

Math Is Hard

Staff Emeritus
Heh! Cute web page!

Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
5. Apr 6, 2005

dextercioby

And one more thing

$$50-16=34$$ is not an equation.It's an equality.It's not an identity,since it's valid only in the base 10...

Daniel.

6. Apr 6, 2005

BicycleTree

Hey, dexter, how did you change your signature? I thought altering your signature destroys it.

7. Apr 6, 2005

Staff: Mentor

Altering your avatar if you have one from before the last upgrade removes it. I think the signature is manual?

8. Apr 6, 2005

dextercioby

Hehe,i wouldn't call that altering,but improving.Seneca quoted in original sounds a zillion times better than Heisenberg translated...

Yes,manually... :tongue2:

Daniel.