Here is what may well be the nerdiest pet peeve you ever hear of. I don’t like the mathematical but imaginary number i. Even the fact that I have to press ctrl+i, i and then go through Word’s autocorrect features and undo the automatic capitalisation irritates me. But the thing that really irritates me is that it’s not real.
If you take a term like π, then you are talking about a real thing. If I had an accurate enough protractor and sharp enough knife I could even get you π pies. That’s three complete pies and just over one tenth of a fourth pie. But i is not real. i is the square root of minus one (√-1). That is not a real number. The square root of one is one or minus one (√1 = 1 or -1). This works because squaring either 1 or -1 gives you 1 (12 = 1 x 1 = 1, -12 = -1 x -1 = 1). There is no number that when squared gives minus one, or any other negative number! (?2 = -1, where ? = NOTHING, THERE IS NO NUMBER HERE. NO NUMBER YOU CAN IMAGINE CAN WORK.) There cannot be.
So mathematicians just invented i. This is a made-up number that when squared does equal -1 (i2 = -1. How? Because I say so. That’s how). I can get you 6 cups, I can get you e pints of beer (just less than three), I can even get you Y grams of good quality weed (I know a guy that knows a guy… also this is just over one half of a gram). But I can’t you get you i anything of anything.
Using i in maths is like using people in maths. What is ShakespeareChauser? Or Tom – Jerry? (Tom minus Jerry is a tragedy, is what it is! Bring back Tom and Jerry!) “I’ll have i pints of Guiness, please” Of course, sir. HAVE A FUN TIME THINKING ABOUT THEM!