The language politics of math and maths

Combining two of my favourite passions, mathematics and linguistics, in a fascinating social analysis of prescriptivism, national identity, and scientific vocabulary, is this video from the Numberphile Youtube channel, entitled, ‘Is it Math or Maths?’

Numberphile regularly features short, popular videos about interesting mathematical stuff, mostly at a layperson’s level.  This video features Dr Lynne Murphy, who teaches lexical semantics at the University of Sussex, and blogs about American/British English differences at Separated by a Common Language.

For the record, as a Canadian, I say ‘math’ but I also say ‘zed’, because that’s the way we roll.

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