# Symbol for proportionality?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by shazgo, Jan 21, 2011.

1. ### shazgo

Hello lovely TES people
What do you call the proportionality symbol? I call it "fish" and my Year 11 students were wondering what it should be called. I looked on google and was disappointed to find that it is just "alpha".
Thanks
Shazgo

2. ### shazgo

Hello lovely TES people
What do you call the proportionality symbol? I call it "fish" and my Year 11 students were wondering what it should be called. I looked on google and was disappointed to find that it is just "alpha".
Thanks
Shazgo

3. ### weebecka

the proportionality symbol.
d'ya think anyone would notice if I hijacked your thread? They don't seem to like ones with 1920 in the title.

5. ### weebecka

someone who regularly posts to maths needs to post on this thread now to make it less obvious....

6. ### TandyNew commenter

Hello Shaz

People often refer to the symbol (wrongly) as "alpha", or "open alpha" or somesuch. Unfortunately, many mathematical symbols don't have exciting names. The actual unicode name for the symbol is "proportional to", though it first appeared in text referred to as "the symbol for variation". Catchy, eh?!

7. ### Colleen_YoungOccasional commenter

Sticking with the subject of the thread.
This link may be of interest from The Math Forum.
We can get the scrabble score from WolframAlpha!

8. ### DMNew commenter

I have given you instructions for posting pictures twice before becka!
Open internet picture in your browser. Right click on it and select Copy.
Now in a thread like this press Ctrl and V together.

9. ### ResourceFinder

It isn't an alpha though is it?

10. ### DMNew commenter

No it isn't.
Otherwise we wouldn't need both /prop and /alpha in LaTeX!

11. ### DMNew commenter

Actually it is /propto I think.

12. ### Colleen_YoungOccasional commenter

..just tried /propto
it works.

14. ### shazgo

Thank you for all of your replies - I'll tell year 11 on Wednesday that they generated quite a thread. I think I'll revert to the somewhat cumbersome
from the link I was given (sorry can't remember who that was to give them their due credit).
http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/62956.html
At least I've not forgotten some "proper" maths term that I once knew.

On balance, I might stick with "fish" on the grounds that they might remember a more bizarre name.
Thanks again
Shazgo

<pre [/QUOTE]

15. ### bbibblerNew commenter

I alway think of it as he infinity symbol with a bit missing.

Maybe 8 and infinity are the same?

16. ### JaneMaths

One of my Yr 11s, a couple of years ago, called it "Nemo" so that's how we now refer to it!

17. ### Polecat

I just call it 'goes like'.