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### 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.

#### General remarks

• 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!

first published on february 08 2003 - last updated on september 01 2003