Math? Maths? Mathesises? Mathelesalizes? Mathematisessizes?
July 11, 2009 8:21 PM Subscribe
When did "Maths" change to "Math" in American English? Or is it the other way around?
posted by fishmasta to Writing & Language (39 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I'm curious to know more about the origin of the math/maths break in the English language. Growing up in the United States, the shortening of mathematics to "math" has always sounded correct to me. But I know in the UK that "maths" tends to be more common. What I'm wondering is how/when/why this shift happened? Is it based on the long form spelling of "mathematics"? Is it based on the sound when pronounced (and is a teacher of other subjects with the "s" sound treated in a similar manner (e.g. a Sciences teacher rather than a Science teacher))? Or is it just one of those weird differences with no explanation other than that is how it's always been done? Any background you can provide is appreciated. Information on how other slight changes between our English forms happened is also welcome. Not as interested in total word differences (lorry/truck, lift/elevator, etc.) so much as the same word with slight variance.