One of the benefits you get from taking a class is the new perspective it gives you on things that otherwise may overlook. For example, in my "Communicating in Mathematics" class we have spent a lot of time translating English sentences into mathematical symbols. For example, we have basic logical operators for "not", "and", "if", and "or." Every now and then we encounter a new operator and have to determine how to map it to one (or more) of our simple operators. The one that i've been most fascinated with is "but." Before this class, if you were to ask me to define "but," i probably would have quickly said it's like the opposite of "and" or that it means that something didn't happen. However, upon investigation i found out it's not the negative word i thought it was. In fact, it logically means the exact same thing as "and" only it adds touch of surprise to the conjunction. Now every time i use the word, i think to myself "and wow!" "P but Q" is the same thing as "P and Q." Same goes for "P although Q," "P even though Q," and "P however Q."
Yes, this is just one of the many thoughts successfully distracting me from studying for tomorrow's midterm.Posted by Matthew at October 19, 2004 09:39 PM