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## Saturday, February 27, 2010

### Mathophobia is curable!

Mathophobia is curable!

Although millions of people suffer from mathophobia (fear of mathematics in all its forms and degrees), however, it was not too long ago that more attention had been given to this disease, fueled partly by the influx of self-help math books to tap on the huge market of mathophobics and mathematically challenged citizens.

I believe that in a-not-too-distant future books on mathophobia and its related symptoms will be shelved under the Health Section in the library. There may also be titles written on numerical phobias or conditions, such as triskaidekaphobia (irrational fear of the number 13) and acalulia (inability to do basic arithmetic).

Once mathophobia is recognized as a psychological illness that affects workers' performance, perhaps doctors will henceforth issue a medical certificate that may look as follows:

CERTIFICATE
To Whom It May Concern

This is to certify that Aziz Salamat is suffering from Mathophobia (Graphobia).

She has been granted medical leave for 2 days, starting from Monday 2 April 2015 to Tuesday 3 April 2015.

MBBA, FRSE, HISM, DDFT

The best cure for mathophobia is prevention; the best antidote is math confidence. Every child can learn math successfully, and every teacher can teach math successfully. In fact, no one is “math-dumb”. Learning math is both logical and emotional. So, treating any math anxiety must include both affective and cognitive elements, as mathematics is both logical and psychological.

What is needed is not a one-for-all syllabus, but rather a curriculum that is challenging, yet at the same time catering for children's different cognitive developments.

Mathophobia: A disease transmitted by parents and teachers to children.

© Yan Kow Cheong, February 28, 2010

## Friday, February 26, 2010

### Ten Daffynitions of a Calculator

YKC's Ten Daffynitions of a Calculator

Daffynitions are toss-off definitions, which are basically rib-nudging, brain-tickling one-liners. Let's look at these infuriating, "anti-Websterisms" when applied to a calculator.

1. A battery- or solar-powered electronic version of the abacus.

2. A Christmas toy for those who are prone to breaking things.

3. A brain-substitute device for performing mental calculation.

4. A toy for atrophying one’s mental faculties for doing arithmetic.

5. A God-sent tool over the once indispensable log tables and the slide rule.

6. An affordable collector’s tech-item for pubescent geeks.

7. A banned gadget in many schools but seldom used by government officials.

8. A tool that helps to promote innumeracy if used excessively or indiscriminately.

9. An inexpensive gadget that reduces the drudgery of repetitive or tedious calculations.

10. A piece of technology with near-zero progress in its design and functionality.

What's your daffynition of the modern-day abacus?

The Devil’s Mathematics Dictionary
Calculator: A device designed to teach students that ab is the same as a x 10b.