Re: Why blackletter letters?

From: Johan Winge <>
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2013 12:26:29 +0200

On Wed, 11 Sep 2013 20:29:51 +0200, Hans Aberg <> wrote:

> ... The symbol for the empty set ∅ is originally a Greek letter phi ϕ,
> ans some use the latter.

According to the autobiography of André Weil, quoted at, the empty set symbol ∅ was inspired by
the Scandinavian Ø, and would then have nothing to do with the Greek phi,
except for a superficial resemblance. I'm aware that some mathematician
indeed do use Φ/φ, supposedly due to this misconception and/or lacking
coverage in fonts and/or carelessness, but I find it terribly annoying.
Really, it is no more correct than using ß in lieu of β.

-- Johan Winge
Received on Thu Sep 12 2013 - 05:28:50 CDT

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