Why is the "<" symbol named the "less-than sign"?
Richard Wordingham
richard.wordingham at ntlworld.com
Wed Sep 16 06:33:43 CDT 2020
On Wed, 16 Sep 2020 10:43:41 +0000
Roger L Costello via Unicode <unicode at unicode.org> wrote:
> I realize that mathematicians use the "<" symbol to denote the
> less-than relation. Who decided that that symbol would denote the
> less-than relation?
Wikipedia says Thomas Harriot, who died in 1621, possibly killed by
tobacco. (The book with the symbol in was published in 1631.) You may
find
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_of_mathematical_symbols_by_introduction_date
interesting.
> So why is the "<" symbol named the "less-than sign"?
Because that was the use of the symbol that the namers learnt in school.
What symbol did you first learn for that meaning?
Richard.
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