Category Archives: writing

Which Fountain Pen Ink for Writing Mathematics?

If, like me, you sometimes prefer to write mathematics on paper before typing into LaTeX, you have the choice of pencil or pen as your writing tool. I’ve written before about writing in pencil. My current tools of choice are … Continue reading

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Handbook of Writing for the Mathematical Sciences, Third Edition

The third edition of Handbook of Writing for the Mathematical Sciences was published by SIAM in January 2020. It is SIAM’s fourth best selling book of all time if sales for the first edition (1993) and second edition (1998) are … Continue reading

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Palomino Blackwing Pencil Tribute to Ada Lovelace

Despite the deep penetration of digital tools into our lives, a lot of mathematics is still written by hand in pencil, and so it is appropriate that the Palomino Blackwing Volumes 16.2 pencil is a tribute to Ada Lovelace, the … Continue reading

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Five Examples of Proofreading

Every writer has also to be a proofreader, whether it be of his or her own drafts or of proofs sent by a publisher. In this post I will give some real-life examples of corrections to proofs. The problems to … Continue reading

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Dot Grid Paper for Writing Mathematics

As I discussed in Writing Mathematics in Pencil, and Why Analogue is Not Dead, there is a lot to be said for writing mathematics on paper, at least for early drafts before the material is typed into LaTeX. There are … Continue reading

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Writing Mathematics in Pencil, and Why Analogue is Not Dead

It’s an old joke that mathematicians need just a pencil, paper, and a bin, while philosophers are even more frugal because they don’t need the bin. Yet nowadays more and more of the time of mathematicians, indeed all scientists, is … Continue reading

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Hyphenation of Compound Words

Compound words are common in mathematical writing and it can be hard to remember how to hyphenate them. Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules. In this article I give some guidance and illustrative examples. The principle to keep … Continue reading

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Hyphenation Question: Row-wise or Rowwise?

Sam Clark of T&T Productions, the copy editor for the third edition of MATLAB Guide (co-authored with Des Higham and to be published by SIAM in December 2016), recently asked whether we would like to change “row-wise” to “rowwise”. A … Continue reading

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Acronymous Thoughts

According to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary (COD, 11th ed., 2004), “An acronym is a word formed from the initial letters of other words”. Here are some well-known examples. AIDS: acquired immune deficiency syndrome, laser: light amplification by stimulated emission … Continue reading

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The Serial, or Oxford, Comma

In the sentence The great historical heroes of applied mathematics include Archimedes, Newton, Euler, and Gauss. the comma before the “and” is known as a serial comma. Whether or not to include it is a matter of style. The serial … Continue reading

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