I’m all for knowing how to do basic math. I think it is a skill everyone should have, because you never know when you may have to use it. Now with that being said, it doesn’t mean that I like the subject. Well, I think it’s safe to say there are a lot of people who aren’t too fond of mathematics. Like most people, I’m good up until you start throwing letters at me in equations. How am I suppose to find a? Or what is the sum of y if the equation is 2x+8? Or what about the backwards E symbol? I for one, do not see it often and that is probably because I only had to take two real math classes in college. Perks of being a communications major. I can talk to you, I can write, but never ask me to help out with your taxes.
This article will try and help clear up any confusion that surrounds the backwards E symbol. Find out what it’s meaning is, what types of problems you will most likely find it in and anything else that may give you the tools necessary to conquer the dilemma that is letters in math problems. So gather your thoughts and be prepared to gain some enlightenment in the world of mathematics. Whether you like it or not, I’m about to drop some serious knowledge on you…well I’m assuming you’re going to like it or need it since you already read this far into an article predominately about math. Kudos to you, but let’s get started!
Meaning of Ǝ
In order for you to fully understand the meaning, I want to break it down in the simplest terms. It isn’t just Ǝ. The proper name for it is existential quantification. You are probably saying to yourself, “that’s cool Alexis, but what does THAT mean?” I get it, I’d be thinking the same thing too. So basically, it means there exists.
To break that down a little further, it shows that something actually exists or is real. So when you are looking at the equation and you see this symbol, just remind yourself that it is only telling you that that specific thing is in fact real. It exists.
Have you ever seen a backwards E, but with a exclamation point after it? I’ll explain this one next.
Meaning of Ǝ!
This symbol means the same thing as above. It exists, but it also goes a step further. The true meaning of this symbol is that there exists only one. So whenever you see this, keep in mind that only one exists. You don’t want to get Ǝ confused with Ǝ! because it can severely ruin your process and mess up the equation, which is the last thing you are going to want. Nothing is worse then getting all the way down to the end of an equation and realizing you messed up on something simple. We all know the feeling, I know for a fact I’m not the only one that happens to.
Don’t be like me! Get it right the first time.
What type of math do I find this symbol in?
The worst of them all…logic. I’m just kidding, I don’t know if logic is the worst, but I do know it takes some real comprehension to understand what equations are saying. I watched my best friend go through that class and she never made any sense to me. She would go on and on about God knows what. I mean it seemed like every time she opened her mouth I barely understood what she was talking about. Logic isn’t a true math class. You won’t go in there trying to solve equations that are straight forward. Hence the name ‘logic.’ It is all about understanding what is being thrown at you and being able to make sense of it. You’ll find the backwards E and plenty of other symbols that you won’t necessarily see in algebra classes.
What exactly is “Logic?”
I keep throwing out that you will more than likely see this symbol in logic and other maths that have to do with coming to conclusions and reasoning, but none of that matters if you don’t know what that math actually is. So allow me to inform you.
Logic is the presentation and study of ideas, arguments, reasons, principles, etc. It tests to see if you can comprehend the study of reasoning, or principles and come to valid conclusions. Can you inference what you need to to come to the correct answer? The whole point is to distinguish good reasoning from bad reasoning. It is a tough class and a lot of professions require it while you are in college. If you are a pre-law student or interested in going into the medical field to become a doctor, you will more than likely have to take it. A lot of other majors require it too, but those were the two that always stuck out to me.
What type of problems would I see Ǝ in?
Warning: If you are not comfortable with (Ǝ) yet, this may overwhelm you. I’m going to put some practice problems that I found, so you can see what an equation with the symbol looks like. Are you ready? I hope so.
Welcome to the world of logic. It looks confusing, right? Don’t expect me to try and solve it, because there is no possible way for me to do that. Well, if I actually took the time to learn more about each and every symbol, then I could, but it’s still a tough math to learn. If you need some basic math, then I got you covered. Maybe a little statistics, too. But this?! I have no idea what this even means, nor do I know where one would even start to break it down. When you see (Ǝ) you are staring at advanced math. It forces you to think beyond what is shown on the paper and expand your thoughts to more than straight forwards answers. That’s what I like about this specific math. You have to wonder why it is worth doing something over another. Discover the reasoning and explain why it is the one that was chosen. Problems like these aren’t meant to be easy. They challenge you and get you ready for tough decisions in the future, especially if you end up or are in a profession where reasoning and morality comes into question all the time.
The symbol Ǝ will almost always, if not, always be accompanied be other letters. You don’t see much of any numbers in these equations and that is because they are not needed. It isn’t about adding something up and coming up with a product or sum. Like I said, it’s about whether or not you can reason and justify a specific choice.
How would I type out a backwards E symbol?
I had this same question when I started writing this article. I never think about typing up math equations, but you never know when you might have to. So I feel it is important to know.
You can do it a couple different ways, depending on the computer or device you are using.
- You can copy and paste an already existing Ǝ from the web. This is what I did at first. It’s simple and easy, but can get tiresome if you are continuing having to copy and paste. This is when these next options come in handy.
- If you are using a Windows, then you can go to the character maps. You can find it in the Start menu. Once you do find it, you will be shown a chart full of different characters that you would never find on the keyboard. Search through them and find the backwards E.
- On Macs, you are going to want to go to the Edit tab. When it drops down, you will see an option that says “Special Characters.” Just like the one on Windows, a chart will appear with all the unique characters. Again, sift through the chart and find the (Ǝ).
Math, Math, Math
There’s no denying the importance of mathematics. It may not always come easy, but when you have a little clarification, it can actually go a long way. I know it is tough trying to stay on top of meaning of various symbols, remembering the set up of different equations, the actual attempt of making sense of it all and answering the equation. It takes time to understand and lots of practice. With symbols like Ǝ, it is best to break it down part by part and take it from there. That honestly goes for any equation, but these especially.
If you are new to the exposure of the backwards E, then I really do hope this helped. Things like this can sometimes be hard to get use to and the sooner you can the better. Math, most people can’t stand it, but we can all agree that it is one helpful subject to know.