Prism of language

Posted on April 21, 2015


Somebody is insisting that calling rectangular prisms “rectangular solids” just isn’t right.  I hold that you don’t change names any more often than necessary, and that when you say “prism” *most* people think of the triangular, light-bending kind and even when you say “rectangular prism,” well, I might think a triangular prism is rectangular because it does have rectangles in it.

This person says that because “solid” could mean a glob of clay, therefore “rectangular solid” isn’t precise enough.

Welp, all the definitions I see of rectangular solids state that all the sides have to be rectangles.

None of them include a rectangle with a glob of clay on top.

Nobody associates “rectangular solid” with blobs of clay.

Lots and lots of people associate prism with triangles.

Why invite confusion?

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