On Sunday, a guy named Abdul Dremali tweeted about a realization that totally blew his mind. He claimed he had learned the division sign is actually a blank fraction.
Is this true? Well, the division symbol, officially known as an obelus, was originally used in medieval manuscripts to mark when the editor was unsure about a passage or quote.
The sign was first used to indicate division in mathematics in 1659 by Johann Heinrich Rahn, a Swedish mathematician, in his book, TeutscheAlgebr. He didn't say if it was supposed to be a blank fraction when he used it.
However, anecdotally, Dremali's claim is correct. Steve Fearnley, a math teacher and author, wrote in the Oxford Press that teachers have used the "blank fraction" concept to help kids remember how to divide in classrooms.
It seems more teachers should be using this trick, because people on Twitter said their minds were totally blown.
They were shook.
"Wtf this is more math I learned in one tweet than I have all throughout high school," wrote one person.
Many said teachers need to tell kids about this trick.
Some said they HAD been taught this, and it made a huge difference in their understanding.
People also, of course, began to share other things that blew their minds when they first learned them.
Or (LOL) this.
Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Stephanie McNeal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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