TWAT News: Student faces expulsion over math sign

root sign.png

The symbol above is called a radical, also known as a “square root”. In mathematics, it along with the radicand represents a number which, when multiplied by itself, gives a product equal to the radicand, the radicand being the number within the radical.

What’s really radical is that police were called and an Alabama student faces expulsion because he made a joke about the radical looking like a gun.

The guy is pretty far from the only one who liked to have some fun with math by making things out to be something else. One example that I think we’re probably all familiar with is what we get when we punch the quantity “80085” into our calculators. Alternatively, one can instead punch in “58008” and look at it upside-down.

A lesser known example is the female appearance of the number one, especially when it’s stylized and placed in parentheses:

congratulations, it's a she.pngHot stuff.

Or this popular example, which takes a little calculus:

integral

This next one is popular among the more metal mathematicians:

sigma.png

Being immature with math and numbers really isn’t anything new, but this would be the first time I’ve heard of someone getting in trouble for it, with even the police getting involved.

This story is being passed around as an example of how people are becoming overly sensitive, particularly as relates to the causes of various left-wing fringe groups. Otherwise, it’s hard to imagine anyone calling the cops over a math symbol.

While most media outlets reporting on this story say that the student’s home was searched, there is a variant of this story going around which states that the student’s home wasn’t searched. It’s not a bad idea to have at least two or three sources of information on news stories, especially if at least one of those sources has an apparent political bias. Though avoiding political bias in the news is nearly impossible, a different perspective can help when otherwise, there’d be another aspect to a story you might have missed.

A student got in trouble over a math symbol. That Was Actually The News.

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