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What symbol do you use (in proofs) for contradiction?

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 4:43 pm UTC
by szarka
What symbol, if any, do you use to express contradiction when writing proofs? (The Comprehensive LaTeX Symbol List shows several alternatives on p.19 and suggests that there's no consensus.)

Re: What symbol do you use (in proofs) for contradiction?

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 5:06 pm UTC
by SimonM
I find it easier to see whats going on when a few words are used. Hence I use the word "contradiction"

Re: What symbol do you use (in proofs) for contradiction?

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:36 pm UTC
by crazyjimbo
If I'm going symbolically I use a # like symbol ( \varhash in LaTeX ). I try to use words as much as possible though.

Re: What symbol do you use (in proofs) for contradiction?

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:36 pm UTC
by Torn Apart By Dingos
I use \bot when I write stuff by hand for myself. Otherwise I just write out "Contradiction.". I've started to use \blitza a little though, because it looks cool.

Re: What symbol do you use (in proofs) for contradiction?

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:50 am UTC
by szarka
Argh! I edited the poll to add a "something else" category and it reset everything. Bug or feature? Hard to say...

Anyway, I usually just use words, but my analysis prof may have converted me to the head-butting arrow thingie...

Re: What symbol do you use (in proofs) for contradiction?

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:00 pm UTC
by McHell
Any symbol usage should refer to blackboard maths (and by extension, written exam paper maths).

If you follow proper math paper writing standards (e.g. [our lord] D. Knuth's stanford CS course on math writing) for a course book or reviewed paper: you arrive to the contradiction and then finish by a sentence pointing out how this is a contradiction.

So in BB maths it's clear writing "contradiction!" or "$\blitza$ is equivalent, hence the second in preferable if either (a) the *whole* audience knows what it stands for or (b) you make it clear in words, while writing the squiggle, that it stands for a contradiction (so you do orally what the written math version prescribes).

Re: What symbol do you use (in proofs) for contradiction?

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 8:11 pm UTC
by 3.14159265...
Lightening bolty thingie.

Tis awsomes.

My analysis teacher, uses its. I likes.

Re: What symbol do you use (in proofs) for contradiction?

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 3:17 am UTC
by ICDB
I just wrote it out, but I think I'll try some of these. They're cool!

Re: What symbol do you use (in proofs) for contradiction?

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:05 am UTC
by mudge
I actually know of someone with the \blitza tattooed on them.

I however, usually use the headbutting arrows. The blitza is cooler, but the arrows were what I learned, and seem to make the most sense to me (It's like two implications colliding!)

Re: What symbol do you use (in proofs) for contradiction?

Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:57 pm UTC
by You, sir, name?
I usually go for

"_|_ Contradiction!"

It may be a bit of a superfluous redundancy, but it does cover all bases.

Re: What symbol do you use (in proofs) for contradiction?

Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:52 pm UTC
by Ended
I use # for contradiction. Also, unless it's really obvious, I try to write '# of linear independence of the en' or whatever. I think just writing 'contradiction kthxbye', without explaining exactly what is being contradicted, is annoying for someone reading your work (not least when you go back to read it yourself).

Re: What symbol do you use (in proofs) for contradiction?

Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 6:49 am UTC
by szarka
My analysis prof calls the head-butting arrow thingie "Bulgarian contradiction". I think that's in honor of another prof at my school who uses it, but I'm never sure. Like many truly funny people, it's sometimes difficult to know when he's joking...