[Numeracy 153] Re: The double negative language-math link

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Michael Gyori tesolmichael at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 12 00:29:32 EST 2010

Greetings Brooke and everyone,

Perhaps we have run into a semantic issue here.  Units of measurement are abstractions, you can not capture them with your senses. Our senses can only behold nothingness and more (e.g. we a particular quantity of something or its absence or depletion, which equals zero).

We can capture having no money or some amount of money.  We cannot capture a negative amount of money.  Negative balances exist in "mathematical" reality.


Michael A. Gyori
Maui International Language School 

From: "Denney, Brooke" <denneyb at cowley.edu>
To: numeracy at nifl.gov
Sent: Thu, February 11, 2010 5:17:31 PM
Subject: [Numeracy 151] The double negative language-math link

I disagree with your statement that, “negatives carry meaning in mathematical, but not physical (reality) terms”; after all, it is winter in the Midwest and negative values mean something in my reality when we are talking about wind chill factors and really cold temperatures (perhaps living in a really warm climate you may have forgotten).   Also, negative numbers are used when discussing the grade of the road (i.e., positive or negative grade).  Does anyone else have examples of negative numbers used in reality?

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