My Math Forum new symbol for negative integers

 Elementary Math Fractions, Percentages, Word Problems, Equations, Inequations, Factorization, Expansion

 View Poll Results: should a circled integer replace the - symbol yes this is more specific 0 0% no it's not 6 100.00% this already exists 0 0% Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

 June 22nd, 2019, 01:40 PM #1 Newbie   Joined: Jun 2019 From: USA Posts: 5 Thanks: 0 new symbol for negative integers Circling the negative number signifies that the amount is Owed because the amount is not produced until it is paid. A class at Umass spoke about this that I was in, but we may have spoke oppressively so this is to be certain people have the discussion if it was an idea that people incorrectly said was not allowed. This is around 5 years after discussion.
June 23rd, 2019, 10:36 PM   #2
Senior Member

Joined: Oct 2018
From: USA

Posts: 102
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Math Focus: Algebraic Geometry
Quote:
 Originally Posted by renewedmath Circling the negative number signifies that the amount is Owed because the amount is not produced until it is paid.
I'm not sure I understand this symbolism. Is it representing a "hole" that must be filled with the number within? Or is the circle the "O" in "Owed"?

Also, "$-$" always seemed intuitive, at least to me, since you can think of $-a$ as just $0-a$. In the same vein as removing the $0$ from $1+0 = 1$.

 June 24th, 2019, 01:57 AM #3 Senior Member   Joined: Apr 2014 From: UK Posts: 976 Thanks: 346 A negative number isn't always an amount owed, in fact, it hardly ever is. Since I can't easily circle a number in text, let's use curly brackets to illustrate a problem. Where {5} is equivalent to -5: what's 5{5}? To remove ambiguity, you'd have to specify either: 5({5}) for a result of -25 or {25} or 5+{5} for a result of 0 or {0} Another issue is a technological one, how do you put a circle around a long number such as {1234567890}? A computer can manage it but you're going to need to update lots of software to account for it. This gets a bit trickier on a typewriter (I can think of a way to do it). Handwritten work could end up as an undecipherable mess (even more than mine already is!)
 June 24th, 2019, 07:15 AM #4 Newbie   Joined: Jun 2019 From: USA Posts: 5 Thanks: 0 Furthermore The significance is that because the negative number is not produced until it is actually paid the integer is circled, and yes the O means owed.
 June 24th, 2019, 07:16 AM #5 Newbie   Joined: Jun 2019 From: USA Posts: 5 Thanks: 0 Parenthesis is a way to do it like you just did
 June 24th, 2019, 07:17 AM #6 Newbie   Joined: Jun 2019 From: USA Posts: 5 Thanks: 0 There is no -2 until when the debt is paid, and it's more specific than using the symbol for minus
 June 24th, 2019, 01:05 PM #7 Math Team   Joined: Dec 2013 From: Colombia Posts: 7,700 Thanks: 2682 Math Focus: Mainly analysis and algebra You are clearly not aware that there is no council that determines correct mathematical notation, and that all mathematical notation has been arrived at through usage and convention. You can write negative numbers how you like, but you can't force others to like, use or understand your notation. Thanks from topsquark
 June 24th, 2019, 04:08 PM #8 Senior Member   Joined: Sep 2016 From: USA Posts: 685 Thanks: 462 Math Focus: Dynamical systems, analytic function theory, numerics Why is this better than the usual minus sign? At best its completely equivalent with the minor disadvantage that nobody currently uses this and everyone is currently just fine with the normal minus sign. At worst, it seems like you might not completely understand the distinction between negative numbers and numbers with a minus sign in front of them. Thanks from topsquark
 June 24th, 2019, 06:37 PM #9 Global Moderator     Joined: Oct 2008 From: London, Ontario, Canada - The Forest City Posts: 7,982 Thanks: 1166 Math Focus: Elementary mathematics and beyond Negative numbers don't generalize to amounts of (whatever) owed. Thanks from topsquark and Greens
 June 25th, 2019, 08:22 AM #10 Senior Member   Joined: Apr 2014 From: UK Posts: 976 Thanks: 346 'Finance' tried another notation, red text to indicate negative numbers. Works until someone prints in black and white then faxes it.... But, it wouldn't be allowed now because it isn't politically correct to the colour-blind.

 Tags integers, negative, symbol

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