Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Why I Hate Math - it's Never Simple



-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+twer_lists_all=hotmail.com@lists.techwr-l.com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+twer_lists_all=hotmail.com@lists.techwr-l.com] On Behalf Of Robert Lauriston
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 3:27 PM
To: TECHWR-L Writing
Subject: Re: Grammar: "Multiply by" or "Multiply times"?

In my reading, he said "times" in place of "by."

In yours, he left out the value of the multiplier for the operation to be performed 20 times. If his writing is that sloppy, it needs more than style cleanup.
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-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+twer_lists_all=hotmail.com@lists.techwr-l.com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+twer_lists_all=hotmail.com@lists.techwr-l.com] On Behalf Of Wright, Lynne
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 3:24 PM
To: Lauren; techwr-l@lists.techwr-l.com
Subject: RE: Grammar: "Multiply by" or "Multiply times"?



I have to disagree: 3 x 2 is the same as 2 x 3; and both are the same as 3 x 1 x 2.



The order of the digits doesn't matter. The result is still 6.
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-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+twer_lists_all=hotmail.com@lists.techwr-l.com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+twer_lists_all=hotmail.com@lists.techwr-l.com] On Behalf Of Lauren
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 3:10 PM
To: techwr-l@lists.techwr-l.com
Subject: Re: Grammar: "Multiply by" or "Multiply times"?

On 4/25/2017 9:36 AM, Robert Lauriston wrote:
> You can say "three times two is six" or "three multiplied by two is six," but you shouldn't have "multiply" and "times" in
> the same sentence.

This is correct and wrong at the same time.
"Three times two is (equals) six" is not ""three multiplied by two is six."
"Three times two equals six" is stated as two multiplied by three equals six."
The order is important, while the mathematical result is the same. "Times" is a count of how many times an ingredient or process is used. "Multiplied by" what is used to increase the ingredient or process.

So for 3 x 2 = 6, if "times" is used, then 2 is the thing being increased and the phrase is "three times two."
If "multiplied by" is used then the meaning is that you have three of something that you are increasing by two.

The phrase being addressed is, "multiply the absorbance of the dilution times 20." Accuracy of the order of things is important here. What it sounds like the scientist is saying is either, "multiply the absorbance of the dilution 20 times," or "multiply the absorbance of the dilution by 20." The meaning of the two interpretations can differ whether the formula represents a process or a factor. Context is necessary.

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