Chewing on Old Words
On ebay, someone was selling Joseph Raphson's A Mathematical Dictionary (published in 1702). NOTE: Raphson is the same man connected to the famous NewtonRaphson root finding technique...as he was a friend and supporter of Newton.
Many ebay bidders wanted the old dictionary, offering bids up to $1125. But that amount was not enough, and it went unsold.
Wouldn't it be neat to see how mathematical words were defined in 1702? For example, any idea what an "ambligonium" is? In Raphson's Dictionary, it is a triangle with an obtuse angle, coming from the Greek amblys for "dull." [Note: Webster's dictionary (1828) calls it "obtusangular or amblygonous."]
Again, any idea what a "parodick" is? In Raphson's Dictionary, it is the exponent in algebra...as "1 is the Exponent or Parodick Degree of the Root, 2 of the Square, 3 of the Cube...." This makes some sense, given that the Greek para means "beside" and the Greek "decher" means "ten."
On rainy afternoons, I find these ponderings interesting and wish I could afford to buy the full dictionary (rather than depend on four sample pages in the ebay ad). Maybe Santa reads this web site....
