1. Mike
Posted July 2, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

How are you going to celebrate this momentous event?

• gravelinspector-Aidan
Posted July 3, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

Beer, food and cats.
You didn’t really need to ask, did you?

2. ThyroidPlanet
Posted July 2, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

1184 = 2^5 X 37

Prime factors of 1184
592
296
148
74
37

Source:

http://www.2dtx.com/prime/prime1184.html

• Posted July 2, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

Those aren’t prime factors. None but the last are even prime numbers!

• ThyroidPlanet
Posted July 2, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

Well shoot, they aren’t

Whys it called a prime factors tree then?

• Posted July 2, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

• Posted July 3, 2017 at 12:56 am | Permalink

The current grade school math students learn to break a composite number down into its prime factors using a branching schematic, hence “tree.” For example, the number 4 would have two oblique lines beneath it (a forward slash and a back slash), each line connecting to the number 2. This “tree” shows that 4 is made by multiplying 2×2.

It gets into more layers of branches with 8: 2×4, then 2x 2×2.

The older method, nicknamed “upside down division”, was easier to teach, clearer to read, and better to work with, once the prime numbers and/or composites along the way to primes were identified. This is what I teach, when I tutor grade school math, and the kids’ eyes and brains light up.

• ThyroidPlanet
Posted July 2, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

BTW I’m still traveling so if PCC(E) wants to look where in the world this prime number troll is posting from – privately, right – I’m leaving in a day, so….

• ThyroidPlanet
Posted July 2, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

For my sin :

each of the numbers has to be multiplied by 2 to obtain the higher number.

I guess the only prime number that matters are the 2 at each step and the last multiplier, here being 37.

… I guess I hastily wrote “prime factors” instead of “prime factors tree”. Or I’m an idiot, or both.

• John Taylor
Posted July 2, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

Easy tip off is that they are even numbers!!!

• ThyroidPlanet
Posted July 2, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

Prime factors TREE, FTR

• JonLynnHarvey
Posted July 2, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

1184 = 32 * 37 (=2^5 * 37)

• ThyroidPlanet
Posted July 2, 2017 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

1184 = ( 1 X 1 X 8 X 4 ) x 37

Am I forgiven?

• JonLynnHarvey
Posted July 2, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

Ohh, nice.
I wish I knew someone 1184 years old to put that on their birthday cake.

• Posted July 3, 2017 at 1:00 am | Permalink

1184 divided by 2 = 592. Prime factor 2 found.
592 divided by 2 = 296. Another 2 found.
296 divided by 2 = 148. Yet another 2.
148 divided by 2 = 74. That’s 2 number four.
74 divided by 2 = 37. That’s 2 number five.
37 is not evenly divisible by anything except itself and one, so it is also prime. Result:

1184 = 2x2x2x2x2x37.

The shorthand for this is to put 1184 under an upside down division frame, then each factor is written to the left of that, and each result is written beneath, to be boxed in by the next division frame and so on.

• Posted July 3, 2017 at 1:01 am | Permalink

I love math.

3. GBJames
Posted July 2, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

A proper headline. I was not irritated. Life is good.

• Posted July 2, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

I’m not so sure. We use the mathematical symbol < to mean "less than", and even when it's clear that we're discussing integers we can write 1 < 2 or "one is less than two."

Right now this page says "You are following this blog, along with 48,817 other amazing people", so can we not write "48,817 < 50,000", or "< 1200 to go", or "less that 1200 to go"?

• Dave
Posted July 2, 2017 at 9:47 am | Permalink

Happy July < 5

• GBJames
Posted July 2, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

That is a reasonable analysis if we were discussing numbers in the abstract. But we’re talking about counts of people and, thus, “fewer” is the proper word to use.

• Gregory Kusnick
Posted July 2, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

Merriam-Webster disagrees with you.

• Richard Bond
Posted July 2, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

Dictionaries record usage, not what makes sense.

• Richard Bond
Posted July 2, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

Um, not what necessarily>/em> makes sense. (Puts down glass of wine.)

• Richard Bond
Posted July 2, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

Rude words, rude words, rude words: not what necessarily makes sense.

• Gregory Kusnick
Posted July 2, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

I doubt that anyone has any trouble making sense of “less than 1200”. As the MW article points out, people have been using it that way, and making sense of it, for centuries.

How do you imagine words get their sense, if not from usage?

• Richard Bond
Posted July 2, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

I agree about the points that you make; what I regret is the loss of nuance as meanings become smeared. For example, the “ee” ending on non-transitive verbs: “escapee” and “attendee”. Do people generally understand the meaning? Probably yes, most of the time.

However, suppose that I wrote “the swivee was ecstatic” in classical English. The accurate equivalent today would be something like “the female recipient of vaginal sexual intercourse with a man was expressing overwhelming happiness or joyful excitement”. I vote for simplicity via specificity.

• Gregory Kusnick
Posted July 2, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

Loss of nuance might be regrettable if it could be documented quantitatively. My understanding is that linguists find no evidence of such a decline in the expressive power of modern English.

• Richard Bond
Posted July 2, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

The point of my example was that the maintenance of such expressive power involves extra verbiage, unless meaning is well defined. Consider the difference between “may” and “might”: “I may go to the pub” means that I have permission, “I might go to the pub” expresses probability. I freely admit that this argument has long been lost; I merely regret that today either of those simple statements needs extra qualification to convey its full meaning.

• Gregory Kusnick
Posted July 2, 2017 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

I invite you to search Shakespeare or the King James Bible for uses of “may” to convince yourself that it’s been interchangeable with “might” for at least 500 years.

• Posted July 3, 2017 at 1:02 am | Permalink

Yes, but I agree with him, and I tutor SAT and ACT and GRE English — successfully.

• Gregory Kusnick
Posted July 3, 2017 at 1:18 am | Permalink

If your goal is to improve students’ test scores, by all means teach to the test. If the goal is to understand the meanings of words as they’re actually used in everyday speech, I don’t see how the tests are relevant.

• Kiwi Dave
Posted July 2, 2017 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

If you asked me, a former English teacher, ‘How many people were at the meeting?’ I would definitely write ‘fewer than 100’ but probably say ‘less than 100’, despite knowing the distinction between count and non-count nouns.

Wikipedia cites from the OED Alfred the Great from 888, writing the Anglo-Saxon equivalent of modern ‘less words’, literally, ‘less of words’.

4. Posted July 2, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

OK, I’ve postponed this too long.

5. bric
Posted July 2, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

When (eventually) you get to that Rainbow Bridge . . .

• JonLynnHarvey
Posted July 2, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

There’s also a Rainbow Bridge near Niagara Falls and a National Monument in Utah.

• bric
Posted July 2, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

Mere wordly rainbow bridges, but PCC will surely be crossing Bifröst to join the gods in Asgard

• gravelinspector-Aidan
Posted July 3, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

On the assumption that the gatekeeper, Hili, lets him cross.
So, no pennies on the eyelids. Anchovies in the pockets, maybe.

• gravelinspector-Aidan
Posted July 3, 2017 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

[Now trying to remember who was the “gate keeper of the gods” … Heimdallr, according to Wikipedia. Clearly a mis-hearing for “Hili”.]

6. Posted July 2, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

Well done so far.

A few months ago, I wondered what led me to subscribe and a few days later spotted your book with the same name as this blog on one of my bookshelves.

I think you ought to have somewhere on this blog a notice about the book.

• GBJames
Posted July 2, 2017 at 8:55 am | Permalink

Look up at the top right part of the page!

• jwthomas
Posted July 2, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

And it’s not a “blog”!

• Posted July 2, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

• Gregory Kusnick
Posted July 2, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

Look up at the top left part of the page!

7. Posted July 2, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

This is called the “speedometer effect”, although it should more correctly be called the “odometer effect.” It’s the reason that New Years Day was so widely celebrated on the first day of 2000 but was just another holiday a year later when the 21st Century began.

8. nwalsh
Posted July 2, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

Well done Professor.

9. Craw
Posted July 2, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

You say you won’t die, but can I risk it?

• Posted July 2, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

Yes. Of course I can’t guarantee that the excitement won’t cause me to have a coronary, but I doubt that seriously–my heart is strong.

10. Gregory Kusnick
Posted July 2, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

I knew the Language Police would come!

Of course they’d come. They’re like vampires; once you invite them in, you’re stuck with them forever.

11. JonLynnHarvey
Posted July 2, 2017 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

I have discovered I never confirmed a subscription I established many moons ago. Subscription confirmed.

12. Posted July 3, 2017 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

Subscription rate is probably underreported due to several mainstream browsers having no support for RSS feeds.