Math is already a complicated subject that we were all forced to learn during our academic years. And, while it may be a been a while since you even last practiced anything you learned from any of those required math classes, this guy just made a pretty mind blowing discovery about a math symbol that you should still be somewhat familiar with, even if you were anything like me and slept through most classes.
On Sunday, a guy by the name of Abdul Dremali, tweeted about his sudden realization, in which he claims that the division sign is actually a blank fraction.
i just found out that the division symbol (÷) is just a blank fraction with dots replacing the numerator and denominator. oh my god.
— abdul (@Advil) September 11, 2017
In the tweet, he writes “I just found out that the division symbol (÷) is just a blank fraction with dots replacing the numerator and denominator. oh my god,”.
This claim might make you want to go back and check out those expensive college math textbooks you purchased but barely used, just to see if it’s true.
Apparently, the division sign, officially known as an “obelus,” goes back as far as medieval times, where it was used in manuscripts to mark where the editor was uncertain about a specific passage or quote.
It first became an indicator of division in 1659, when used by Sweden mathematician Johann Heinrich Rahn, in his book TeutscheAlgebr. The Swedish mathematician never did go into detail about the symbol and whether or not it was a blank fraction.
But Steve Fearnley, a math teacher and author, confirms that Dremali’s claim is correct. He wrote in the Oxford Press that teachers have used the ‘ blank fraction’ symbol to assist children in the classroom with remembering how to divide.
“I had used this sign without question for 30 years before hearing a colleague, a chemistry teacher, telling a student about a fraction being a division ‘Remember the divide sign – the two dots stand for the two numbers. So ¾ means 3 ÷ 4, the dots stand for the 3 and the 4,'” he wrote. “A neat little idea for students faced with, for example, converting a fraction to a decimal.”
Well I definitely didn’t receive that lesson in division, and this news has left me and apparently many people on twitter with their minds blown.
Wait, what?? This is WAY bigger than learning the little arrow by the gas symbol in your car dash tells you which side the gas cap is on.
— Kyle (@kyle_141) September 12, 2017
One person even tweeted “wtf this is more math I learned in one tweet than I have all throughout highschool”. I feel you girl.
@Autumn__faithhh wtf this is more math I learned in one tweet than I have all throughout highschool
— Emma (@EmmaBlosenco) September 11, 2017
Some people went on to complain that this needs to be taught by teachers
I'm pretty sure teachers don't know this or we'd all learn it as a child instead of figuring it out late in life. I was about 30 when I did.
— Paul Potiki (@GuanoLad) September 11, 2017
Where as others have claimed to have learned this in school.
My physical science teacher taught us, it was one of the best lectures on language & math I ever heard.
— bad nana (@cyclone_cowgirl) September 12, 2017
Honestly, wether math was your least favorite subject in school, or you’re a total math geek. this news is still pretty mind-blowing, and one of the few times everyone can agree that math is pretty cool.