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Name: kylerogers
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1995


Question:
In the formula for the slope of a line, namely y = mx + b, m stands for slope. Why the letter m? Why not any other letter?


Replies:
Nice question. My 1949 James "Mathematics Dictionary" writes y=mx+b; my 1940 high school algebra text does not use m at all. Maybe you will have to help me on this one. What is the oldest book in your school library that uses m for slope.

There are idiot mathematicians who try to standardize everything. They may have standardized the textbooks in the mid 1940's or thereabouts. It might be fun to pursue your question.

jlu


Just an idea: what is the French word for slope in the mathematical sense? How about the Latin or Greek? Both the Latin and French for measure begin with m.

hawley



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