The Full Wiki

Obelus: Wikis

  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The division sign.
Obelus is also an alternative name for the dagger () symbol.

An obelus (÷) (plural, obeli) is a symbol consisting of a short line with dots above and below. It is mainly used to represent the mathematical operation of division. It is therefore also known as a division sign.

Contents

History

The word "obelus" comes from the Greek word for a sharpened stick, spit, or pointed pillar. This is the same root as that of the word "obelisk". Originally this sign (or a plain line) was used in ancient manuscripts to mark passages that were suspected of being corrupted or spurious.

The obelus, invented by Aristarchus to mark suspected passages in Homer, is frequent in MSS. [i.e. manuscripts] of the Gospel to mark just those sections, like the Pericope in John, which modern editors reject. The first corrector of א, probably the contemporary διορθωτής, was at pains to enclose in brackets and mark with dots for deletion two famous passages in Luke written by the original scribe which, being absent from B W 579 and the Egyptian versions, we infer were not accepted in the text at that time dominant in Alexandria, viz. the incident of the "Bloody Sweat" in Gethsemane (Lk.xxi.43 f.) and the saying "Father forgive them" (Lk.xi.34).[1]

The obelus was first used as a symbol for division in 1659 in the algebra book Teutsche Algebra by Johann Rahn. Some think that John Pell, who edited the book, may have been responsible for this use of the symbol. The obelus had been used by some writers to represent subtraction, and that usage continued in some parts of Europe (including Norway and, until fairly recently, Denmark). Unicode has a related character, ⁒, called "commercial minus sign", located at U+2052 (HTML &x2052;).

Uses

The obelus was used occasionally in Polish language typography to represent ranges (such as the range 1÷10), although this usage has been mostly discontinued. As of 2007, it was also used to indicate a range in Italian documents and in English translations from Italian documents (for example, 40% ÷ 50% would indicate 40 percent to 50 percent).[citation needed]

The obelus is used primarily as a symbol for division (as on a calculator) and as an operator in elementary arithmetic. Division is also signified in other ways — usually as a fraction: by writing the operands one above the other and separated by a line, or on the same line separated by a solidus or slash.

In many non-Anglophone countries, the colon is used as a division sign: “a divided by b” is written as a : b.

On a Windows computer, the obelus is produced with Alt+0247 or Alt+246 on the number pad. On a Macintosh, it is produced with Option + / (Option + slash) or Alt + Z. On UNIX-based systems using Screen or X with a Compose key enabled, it can be produced by composing : (colon) and - (minus), though this is locale- and setting-dependent. It may also be input by Unicode code-point on GTK-based applications by pressing Control + Shift + U, followed by the codepoint in hexadecimal (F7) and terminated by return.

In the Unicode character set, the obelus is known as the “division sign” and has the code point U+00F7. In HTML, it can be encoded as ÷ or ÷ (at HTML level 3.2), or as ÷.

Notes

  1. ^ Burnett Hillman Streeter, The Four Gospels, London, Macmillan, 1924 [1]   The Aristarchus referred to was presumably Aristarchus of Samothrace.

External links


Simple English

An obelus (plural, obeli) is a symbol consisting of a line with dots above and below, \div, used to represent the mathematical division operation. This symbol is also known as a division sign.

The word "obelus" comes from the Greek word for a sharpened stick, spit, or pointed pillar. This is the same root as that of the word "obelisk". The obelus was first used as a symbol for division in 1659 in the algebra book Teutsche Algebra by Johann Rahn. Today the obelus remains in occasional use, primarily as a standalone symbol for the division operation itself (as on a calculator), or as an operator in elementary arithmetic. In most contexts division is now signified in other ways, often by a forward slash (/).

Other websites








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message