Well, it could very well decide how many marks you will get for a 10 mark question on a theorem. The famed letter “X”. Without this letter, I guess Algebra wouldn’t be half as fun or even exist for that matter. There could be every single alphabet that can be used as an alternate variable representation. But none has that “X” factor as ..well x itself. Any polynomial equation of any degree, feels inadequate or incomplete without X in it. I for one is a socialist when it comes to literally anything. I often used to replace variables as per my whims and fancy and after a while would lose track of which is used for what and would end up scratching every line off and restarting from the top. It so happened during my UG days that on a complex analysis paper, my professor had put kozhi muttai for a theorem I had written. I was pretty much sure and over confident to say the least that mine was correct verbatim as published in original form from the book. I still double checked it to make sure there are no silly errors and marched to my doom, unknown then of course. He simply looked at me, standing in front of him, with all the smugness of the student who had caught his teacher wrong, had another look at my answer sheet and politely threw it on my face and requested me to get lost. I was perplexed and confused. I took it to the class topper guy and asked him to see what the mistake in that answer was. He laughed at my answer and said that I had got all the constants and variables intermixed, meaning – variables in the place of constants and vice versa. I was confused that why he was saying so for I had even verified the same from the book. He pointed out that as per general notation the alphabets with a numeric suffix are usually denoted as constants and ones without any numeric suffix are plain variables. I was the one who was laughing this time as I joked that who made this rule. Why can’t I choose my own form of variable as long as the theorem is correct? He simply answered that when I write my own original theorem I am welcome to try that approach, but the world goes by this notation only. The professor who was listening to all this silently from behind caught me by my ear. Yes. I was in 3rd year UG and yes. He did caught my ear. He admonished me for not respecting the universal notation and clarified that just like how we call “A” as “A” and follow certain standards, we have to respect the same in maths world as well. He re-read the answer I had written and found that I had exactly mapped the variables and constants in notation but the content was correct. He not only refused to give marks for that answer and reduced five more for my “logic”.
Mark kekka poitu kaadhula mark vangitu vanthathu thaan micham L