A Circlet of Math Demons
In 1975, Stephen Lowell published the small pamphlet 154 Demons in Mathematics (J. Weston Walsh) He defined a Math Demon as being a word that was "difficult to spell, more difficult to pronounce, and still more difficult to define.".
He focused on terms confronted by secondary students. Based on his list, do you know the meaning of these terms:
It is fun exploring the meaning and the root derivation of these demons. Give it a try!
- Aliquot Part
- Geodesic Lines
On a side note, this reminds me of an afternoon spent browsing Webster's New World Student's Dictionary (1996), searching for inadequately defined words (e.g. diagonal and angle). But, I also discovered a very neat word not previously encountered: CIRCLET. It is defined to be a "small circle." Now, my imagination ran wild: How small is small? What is the name for a large circle? Medium circle? etc.