Negative/Negation Sign

Mark E. Shoulson mark at
Sat Oct 29 19:15:34 CDT 2022

The APL language used a high-minus for negative numbers and a normal 
hyphen-minus for the operator, monadic or dyadic.  The high-minus was 
syntactically part of the number, while the regular minus operated on a 
number (which would affect its precedence.) Come to think of it, when 
they were teaching us negative numbers in grade school I think my math 
book initially used a high-minus sign and then introduced the concept 
that negation was an operation that can be done to numbers and from then 
on used the regular minus sign.

Non-typographically, Lojban mathematical syntax (mekso) distinguishes 
{vu'u}, the subtraction operator, from {ni'u}, the negative-number 
indicator.  The latter is syntactically considered a *digit*, while the 
former is an operator.

Unicode has a long history of tolerating the typographic weirdness of 
APL (all those APL symbols).  That there isn't an APL high-minus sign 
already would indicate to me that APL contents itself with U+207B 
SUPERSCRIPT MINUS and that's Just Fine.


On 10/28/22 18:10, Doug Ewell via Unicode wrote:
> Gabriel Tellez wrote:
>> Is superscript minus use for this?
> Is *anything* used for this, outside of the TI-83 and TI-84 machines, other than an ordinary minus sign or hyphen-minus?
> There are actual mathematics experts on this list, but my understanding is that normal mathematical notation—as used both by experts and the general public—uses the same symbol for both unary and binary minus. The TI calculators may have distinguished between the two to make input or internal parsing easier.
> --
> Doug Ewell, CC, ALB | Lakewood, CO, US |

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