Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Math or Maths

  1. Jan 5, 2005 #1
    Not sure what forum this should go in. But does anyone know why mathematics is math in the US and maths in the UK?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2005 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Brits add the s because the word "mathematics" ends in "s". Americans tend to just use initial letters for abbreviations.
  4. Jan 5, 2005 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Just the different quirks of two different countries separated by a common language.

    Why do Canadians open and close their lights while Americans turn theirs on and off? The really puzzling thing is that Canadians have to close the switch in order to open their lights, and have to open the switch to close their lights. :biggrin:
  5. Jan 5, 2005 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I've always thought they were in the same league with "behavior-behaviour","hemoragia-haemoragia",and many more.

  6. Jan 5, 2005 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Maybe the Brits just like to stick in extra letters to make us Yanks cranky: alumin(i)um, travel(l)er, labo(u)r...

    Or maybe we took them out to make them cranky. :rofl:
  7. Jan 5, 2005 #6
    It's a trade-off between efficiency and vulgarity.
  8. Jan 14, 2005 #7


    User Avatar

    Never heard of that.

  9. Jan 14, 2005 #8


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I second ek. I am Canadian and have been turning on and turning off lights all my life. Furthermore, all of the switches I have encountered have been either labelled with ON and OFF, or nothing at all. Occasionally, I'll be daring and shut off the lights instead, but that is the extent of the variation I allow in my vernacular.


    *Edit* GASP! I realise I have been lax...for occasionally I have been known to switch on and off the lights as well.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2005
  10. Jan 14, 2005 #9
    Sometime after the american revolution there was a huge revisionism of the English language to make it more American. The American revolution was more profound and complete than many realize.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook