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Old 04-10-2017, 12:22 AM
 
Location: Sacramento
12,626 posts, read 13,387,819 times
Reputation: 11038

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
Seriously? I can't remember anyone ever in my life referring to math numbers as... he, she or guy.

Cars? For sure. That's not just an american thing either. But numbers? Disagree. NOT normal.
I've certainly heard it in math, chemistry, programming, accounting. It's not as pervasive as referring to a car, generally female pronoun, but it's not uncommon either.
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:23 AM
 
Location: Sacramento
12,626 posts, read 13,387,819 times
Reputation: 11038
Quote:
Originally Posted by CtrlEsc View Post
It was common when I was in college in the Midwest (Chicago area.)

"If you take this guy and move him over here below this guy... then take the inverse of that guy..."
And it's oh so wonderful if you happen to be furiously writing down notes and aren't sure which guy is being moved. =D
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Old 10-10-2017, 01:56 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
64,657 posts, read 54,251,848 times
Reputation: 56313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markus86 View Post
I am originally from Sweden, although I have lived in America for a few years, and one thing that I have noticed a couple times from American science lecturers is that some of them talk about numbers and various "notations" as if they were persons.
For example, a typical phrase when they eliminate variables or whatever seems to be that they "knock out that guy", and they also seem to refer to some stuff by gender pronouns, such as "he" and "him".
I always thought that this sounded pretty funny, but maybe it is just a simple casual way to refer to whatever they are working with.
It's an individual thing. It's very casual speech. Some instructors won't be that casual. Others will. It doesn't mean literally, that they're thinking of the numbers as humans, lol. It's idiomatic usage.
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Old 10-16-2017, 04:24 AM
 
1,682 posts, read 2,279,731 times
Reputation: 1864
Quote:
Originally Posted by Debsi View Post
I think it's a way of trying to make a dry subject slightly more accessible.
It's just this.
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:55 PM
 
2,052 posts, read 1,201,742 times
Reputation: 3252
Is this not typical globally? Heck Spanish assigns masculine and feminine context to everything. The English have been assigning feminine terms to boats for centuries.
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Old 10-25-2017, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati near
2,435 posts, read 3,061,316 times
Reputation: 5293
I tell my students the very first day of general chemistryclass that we do not anthropomorphize the elements in my classroom... because it really tics them off.
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Old 10-27-2017, 01:37 PM
 
406 posts, read 354,238 times
Reputation: 584
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
Seriously? I can't remember anyone ever in my life referring to math numbers as... he, she or guy.

Cars? For sure. That's not just an american thing either. But numbers? Disagree. NOT normal.
I'd also say it is VERY normal, I went to school in 3 different states and am pretty sure all my teachers have said things like this.
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