Books, Humour, rant, school

Lessons from my Math Book — A Continuing Series

It’s not what you think. This is the important stuff you can find in Saxon’s math books. I’ll be posting periodically with new gems from Advanced Math, Second Edition.

To begin, here is an excellent example.
“Some people take the first letters of the words sine, opposite, hypotenuse; cosine, adjacent, hypotenuse; and tangent, opposite, adjacent to form the expression

Soh      Cah       Toa

and say that it sounds like an American Indian phrase.”

I don’t know where to begin here. This is rich, rich stuff. First take the opening – “Some people”. Who? Are they referring to themselves or others? If others, why is it in here? If themselves, why are they talking in the third person? I’ll try to explain this in a minute. Next, let’s take “soh cah toa”. Does that really sound like an American Indian phrase? Sort of? But… why is that relevant? Who cares? Does that make it easier to remember? “Um… I can’t remember if “sine” means opposite over hypotenuse or opposite over adjacent. But there was this pneumonic… agh, what was it? Oh yeah! It sounded American Indian! It was Soh Cah Toa!”

Maybe?

To continue with the odd use of the third person – my theory is that they’re afraid some hyper-politically-correct person will, for some reason, take offense at saying it sounds like an American Indian phrase, for whatever reason hyper-politically-correct people get offended (that is, for any reason). Thus they have a defense ready mad, and all they need do is say smugly “Hey, we didn’t say that. Some people said that, and we were just quoting them. You can’t get on our backs about that!”

Some more that I just got by opening the book to a random spot:

“The tugboat Gertrude…” Tugboat Gertrude? Does that have an amusing sound to anyone else?

“Wilde Oscar worked frantically for _ hours… Calm Sally began to help…” Wilde Oscar?

I remember a particularly excellent example in my Algebra II book, which, however, is on loan at the moment. It is likely enough that the phrasing will recur in some form in this book, and if I find it I will be sure to relate it to you.

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2 thoughts on “Lessons from my Math Book — A Continuing Series

  1. Oh, you only get "Wild Oscar"? A certain Mrs. Gargantua (I do not believe I spelt it right) and her toenails show up regularly in my Algebra 1, which I am glad to say I have almost completed. (Teaching Textbooks)Good luck with your book!

  2. What amuses me most is that "Wilde" is not a typo and that it's apparently an inversion of the well-known writer, Oscar Wilde. ROFL!!!! Her TOENAILS?! LOL… Congrats on almost finishing your book 🙂

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