September 3, 2004

The "therefore" symbol.

Have you ever stopped to think about how different everything would be if the "therefore" symbol (a triangle of three dots) were one of the standard symbols on a keyboard like % or # or @? I think we would be more rational, and "the world would be a better place," as Jackie DeShannon once sang ... not about the "therefore" sign, or rational analysis, but ... Jackie DeShannon is a wonderful artist, so when she crosses my thoughts, even to take them astray, I feel like giving her some credit.

UPDATE: Tony Rickey emails html instructions, so let me try:
&there4

But that doesn't satisfy me, because it's still easier to write the word out. And I'm interested in how the long-ago choice of which symbols to put on the number keys has shaped our world. Many years ago, I used to wonder why @ was chosen. Obviously, it was not on the level of & or $ or * as a useful symbol. But then email addresses were created and @ earned its place. But if, instead of @, long ago the choice had been made for &there4 , who can know how things would have turned out?

16 comments:

edeion said...

Such a good peace of thought ;)

Citizen Grim said...

I just bookmarked this page, so whenever I need the "therefore" symbol, I can just copy & paste. Thx ;)

Steven said...

I specifically put together a keyboard driver that lets me access all sorts of symbols. ∴ is, for me, just slightly harder to type than @; I have to hold down two shifting keys instead of one.

If you'd like the driver. you can download it at http://keyboards.jargon-file.org/

RC :D said...

I personally enjoy using the "therefore" symbol often when I type up notes. I think an easy way to type it is to add it as an "AutoCorrect option" in your MS WORD. I added it as th4 so whenever I type th4 on MS WORD, the symbol shows up. I hope this helps.

Simon said...

The therefore symbol really makes notes easy to read. Thing of beauty.

Al said...

Thank you Steven. That's awesome. Your comment made me do a little digging and this is what I did. I have MS Word 2007, might work for 2003. I have edited my symbols to include ∴, ÷ and ×. Go to Insert, symbol, autocorrect, choose Math Autocorrect, scroll down to your desired symbol, take note of the text and copy the symbol. Click on the Autocorrect window. Type in for eg. "\therefore" under the Replace heading and "∴" under the With heading, click Add and there you go. Hope it works. Cheers.

FanManFan said...

My all-time fav cymbal after the $-sign.

Marilyn said...

I was glad to find this site. I was wondering recently about the *therefore* symbol because we used it regularly in school some 40 or 50 years ago, but no one seems to ever have heard of it nowadays. My daughter teaches math and they don't use it. I always thought it was a fast bit of shorthand...just nice & clean as symbols tend to be.

Thanks.

hlethco said...

I found the "therefore" sign, 3 dots in a triangle, in Word 2007. Click on "insert", "symbols" , "cambria math" in left top FONT box from drop down list, click on "mathematical operators" in right top SUBSET box drop down list, and you will find this symbol.

paul.canham said...

Also in word 2003 cambria maths and the mathmatical symbols

Paul
UK

nepsik said...

.'.

dcaruso said...

Ann - MOMA just introduced the @ into its design collection. There's a great essay on the site about where it came from, and how it came into ordinary usage.

http://www.moma.org/explore/inside_out/2010/03/22/at-moma/

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