Finally, this one took some time to write. Maybe there was not so much to write about. And the week after a lot of things happened that kept me busy.
This week I met with professor Severing, my local guide. He took a look at the draft of my proposal and we met to talk about the words I should use or not when writing.
Should I use math, maths or mathematics? On the internet I found some explanations:
Math vs. maths
Math and maths are equally acceptable abbreviations of mathematics. The only difference is that math is preferred in the U.S. and Canada, and maths is preferred in the U.K., Australia, and most other English-speaking areas of the world.
Neither abbreviation is correct or incorrect. You may hear arguments for one being superior to the other, and there are logical cases for both sides. One could argue maths is better because mathematics ends in s, and one could argue math is better because mathematics is just a mass noun that happens to end in s. In any case, English usage is rarely guided by logic, and these usage idiosyncrasies are often arbitrary. If you were raised in a part of the world where people say maths, then maths is correct for you, and the same is of course true of math. Don’t listen to anyone who says otherwise.
” Both maths and math are shortened forms of the word mathematics, which is the study of number, quantity, and space. Math is the American variant. Maths is the British variant. Luckily, there is a very easy way to remember maths vs. math. Maths ends in the letter S, just like the river Thames in England. If you can link this bit of British geography to the British word maths, you should have no trouble remembering the usage cases for these variants.”
Is “math” or “maths” the correct word to use as the shortened or colloquial form of the word mathematics? The answer is that it depends on where you are.
To North American speakers of English, the word to use is “math”, as in “I majored in math”, and “maths” would sound wrong. Speakers of British English, however, would always say “maths”, as in “I took a degree in maths”. They would never say “math”.
“There are logical arguments for both spellings. The word “mathematics” can be considered as a singular and as a plural noun. Both the Oxford and the Merriam-Webster dictionaries say the word is plural – hence the s on the end – but also that it is usually used as if it was a singular noun. So, most people would say “mathematics is my best subject” and not “mathematics are my best subject”. The shortened form “maths”, then, makes sense because the word is still a plural noun and so should still have the “s” on the end. On the other hand, it could be argued, “math” makes sense because it seems wrong to remove the letters “ematic” from the middle of the word and leave the final “s”.”
Before I get any deeper into this math problem, should I be using math or arithmetic?
“Arithmetic (from the Greekἀριθμόςarithmos, “number” and τική[τέχνη], tiké [téchne], “art“) is a branch of mathematics that consists of the study of numbers, especially the properties of the traditional operations on them—addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Arithmetic is an elementary part of number theory, and number theory is considered to be one of the top-level divisions of modern mathematics, along with algebra, geometry, and analysis. The terms arithmetic and higher arithmetic were used until the beginning of the 20th century as synonyms for number theory and are sometimes still used to refer to a wider part of number theory.“
There were more words I have to consider and make a choice. Professor Severing advised me to look what is mostly used in the literature of early child development.