[accessibility] Thu 29 June: TeX Hour: Symbolic languages: 6:30 to 7:30pm BST

Jonathan Fine jfine2358 at gmail.com
Wed Jun 28 23:13:08 CEST 2023


In some sense, all languages are symbolic. The word ‘cat’ is not a cat. The
finger pointing at the moon is not the moon. Spoken language has many
non-symbolic elements, such as tone of voice. Counting and arithmetic and
numbers is largely symbolic.

By and large, the languages that instruct and inform computers are
symbolic. The same goes for when computers talk back to us. This TeX Hour
arises from the various modes of thinking and expression involved in some
fairly simple-minded (but perhaps quite deep) mathematical research I’m

TeX Hour: Thursday 29 June, 6:30 to 7:30pm BST
URL: https://texhour.github.io/2023/06/29/symbolic-languages/
Zoom URL:

Every living human language has a community of users. French is the
language spoken by the people of France. However, the Swiss speak German,
French, Italian and Romansh.

Mathematics is one, or rather several, more or less formal languages. This
ranges from mathematics as Euclid and predecessors (such as Babylon 2000
BC) understood it to, via LaTeX and computer algebra, to formal languages
for computer verified mathematical proofs. Related and overlapping with
this are languages for algorithms and computer programs.

When we think of language as a human activity, we get another way of
looking at and understanding problems of accessibility, and the challenges
and opportunities arising wne digital media enters a culture that has a
long history of relying on print, all the way back to Gutenberg's printing
press (1440).

with best regards

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