Definitions of Terms Commonly Used in Mathematics Lectures
Students suffer through mathematical lectures filled with a great many terms that teachers rarely defined. Given the following interpretations, it perhaps is best that these terms remain undefined:
CLEARLY: I do not want to write down all the "in- between" steps.
TRIVIAL: If you need to ask about this, you are in the wrong class.
OBVIOUSLY: Something we all know and I refuse to repeat it.
WLOG: I can’t remember how to do all of the cases, so I will do the one I remember.
IT CAN BE SHOWN: Please do not ask…as I forgot how to do it myself.
SKETCH OF A PROOF: I forgot some of the details, so here’s a list of the parts I cannot prove.
HINT: The way to solve a problem if you know what I know.
POOF: A proof without the “R” for rigor.
ELEGANT PROOF: Less than ten lines long but requires you to fill in the big gaps with about ten pages.
SIMILARLY: At least one line or number or symbol in this proof has been used in a previous proof.
BY A PREVIOUS THEOREM: I do not remember which one but I hope it actually exists.
TWO LINE PROOF: Given this, that follows!
BRIEFLY: Luckily, I am running out of time, so trust that these gaps can be filled out.
PROCEED FORMALLY: Manipulate the initial symbols into a final equation that looks elegant and imposing.
PROOF OMITTED: Trust me….it is true....work it out yourself if you do not believe me.