21 January 2015




We are familiar with the saying “Brevity the soul of wisdom.” Mathematics applies this principle in its language. Mathematical language is free from verbosity and is empowered to put the things or ideas pin-pointedly. Thus, mathematical language cut short the lengthy statements and helps the people to express their ideas or things in exact form by using notations, symbols and formula. 
The mathematical ability is inherent in the man. Therefore, he is able to assign notations and symbols to ideas and objects. This is the basis for the development of mathematical language. Thus, the mathematics has its from several and symbolism which distinguishes it from several other subjects and helps us in expressing the facts in clear, to the point and exact form. For example, the statement, “The different of squares of two terms or numbers is equal to the product of sum and difference of the terms”, may easily be written as:

y2=(x+y)(x−y) by using the symbol x and y for The above symbolic form of a given statement impressments the mathematical language. Mathematical results in their symbolic form helps us in solving various complicated problems. The progress of mathematics depends on the enormous use of mathematical language and symbolism. Most of the results of scientific inventions and discovers are stated through this language. The importance of mathematics and mathematical language may easily be understood through the saying of Lindsay and Galileo;
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Lindsay says, “Mathematics is the language of physical science and certainly no more marvelous language was ever created by the mind of the man.”

More above Galileo has expressed has views as "Mathematics is language in which god has written the universe"

Thus, mathematics works out with a peculiar language. Therefore, in teaching of mathematics, the teacher has to develop in learners the ability to employ mathematical language and symbolism. We are very much familiar with the symbols of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. There are a large number of symbols and notations used in mathematics and it is not possible to prepare a comprehensive and complete list of those. But students must be made familiar with them so that they may be able to understand advanced mathematical processes and literature. A good student of mathematics must be in position to appreciate the precision, logic, sharpness and beauty of its perculiar language. Several students lose interest in the subject as they are symbolism. Thus, it is the duty of the teacher of mathematics to create in him an interest towards its language. Though, it is not the content of this book, some important symbols are given below to comprehend the beauty and precision of mathematical language.

Used for
Equal to
Since or because or As
Greater than
Less than
Square root
Summation (Sigma)
Parallel lines
Semi-perimeter of triangle
Set-of Natural Numbers
Set of Real Numbers
Set of Integers
Set of Rational Numbers

There are some important symbols which are mostly used. In fact, it is a difficult task to prepare a comprehensive and complete list of all the mathematical symbol. Generally students fail to understand some mathematical procedure because of their inability to understand the symbols used. So, they try to cram the statements mechanically without knowing the meaning of symbols. Therefore, students should be very familiar with these symbols. Teachers should make an effort to train the students in the use of mathematical language and symbols. Students should team to appreciate the precision, brevity, exactness and beauty of mathematical language and symbolism.

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