# Re: Binary Relations, draft 1

• To: "Y&Y, Inc." <support@YandY.com>
• Subject: Re: Binary Relations, draft 1
• From: Hans Aberg <haberg@matematik.su.se>
• Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 23:55:51 +0100
• Cc: math-font-discuss@cogs.susx.ac.uk
• Content-Length: 1858

At 17:28 -0500 1998/11/17, Y&Y, Inc. wrote:
>At 23:13 1998-11-17 +0100, Hans Aberg wrote:
>
>>The traditional typographical explanation, or rule, that names such as
>>"sin", "cos" should be typeset upright is that these are functions. But
>>this does not explain why the "f" in f(x) should be typeset as a variable,
>>when it clearly is a function.
>
>I think the reason (if any) to make the distinction of setting these upright
>is that they are mulitletter combinations rather than that they are functions.
>This helps distinquish sin' from the product of s, i, and n.

Let's argue against this your suggestion: :-)

Then to begin with, in math the styles are chosen semantically, that is the
same symbol but in a different style in the same paper or formula has a
different mathematical meaning. This is different from styles in texts,
where the meaning of the words does not change in the same way.

So, if styles are chose like that, they break this principle of math
typesetting.

Then there are names with more than one letter typeset slanted/italics,
like "hom", etc, even though one may decide to typeset them upright. They
are then typeset as usual text, thus distinguishable from an implicit
multiplication which would be typeset as "h o m".

And for one letter names, there are at least suggestions for typesetting
them upright even though it is common that they are typeset slanted: \sum
(= \Sigma), \prod (= \Pi), and d (differential), D (differential operator),
and such. Usually there is a process, where some names successively become
more established over other variations.

So this seems to speak against your theory.

Hans Aberg
* Email: Hans Aberg <mailto:haberg@member.ams.org>
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