May 12th, 2006

fuzzy sweatpants

arithmetic language

We say "two plus three", but we say "add two and three", and that's "addition". And some of us might've laughed under our breath in middle school at the kids in math class who used "plus" as a verb. Similarly, "two minus three" but "subtract three from two" for "subtraction", "two times three" but "multiply two by/and three" for "multiplication", and so on.

When you're talking sets, what do you do instead? I guess "B intersect C" and "intersect B and C" for "intersection", but what about union? "Then you union B and C" sounds almost as wrong as "Then you times 2 and 3".