Saying maths  Foreword
Disclaimer

This list is far from being exhaustive, but is constantly
increasing, also thanks to your contributions!

In some cases there are other ways to say the formulas:
please inform us.

You might find some mistakes: please let us know.

Individual mathematicians often have their own way of
pronouncing mathematical expressions and in many cases there
is no generally accepted "correct" pronunciation.

Distinctions made in writing are often not made explicit in
speech (this happens also in Italian!): for instance while
and are completely different mathematical expressions,
they all sound as "the square root of a plus
b". The difference is usually made clear by the
context, but to avoid misunderstandings you may emphasise the
difference using longer expressions or different intonations
and length of pauses. The previous example can be read as
"the square root of a
pause

all plus b" (longer expression) or "the
square root of a pause
 plus
b", for the first expression, and "a+b all
under the square root" or "the square root
of pause
 a plus b",
for the second expression. Observe the shifting of the
pause
.
Directions

The "saying" part of a formula is always written in
italics.

The division bar ( / )
is used to keep apart different ways of saying the same
formula.

Parentheses are used for optional parts.

We never use commas to indicate a pause in the
"saying" part of the formula, but the explicit
indication:
pause
, as in the above
examples.

Some entries can find a place in different headings: we have
chosen what is more appropriate in our opinion.
Thanks to Maria Bortoluzzi, Laura Cimetta and
Mariateresa Esposito for their invaluable help!
copyright 2000 et seq. maddalena falanga & luciano battaia
first published on february 08 2003  last updated on september 01
2003