[seqfan] Re: Who named Catalan numbers?

Peter Luschny peter.luschny at gmail.com
Fri Feb 7 00:00:20 CET 2014


FTAW> Names are names. The only "misnomer" would be if the name implies a
FTAW> property that is not correct. Any effect to give recognition where it
FTAW> is due is strictly a side benefit.

Hmm, if a name is a name than an inappropriate name is an inappropriate name.
And according to [1] a 'misnomer' is defined as an inappropriate name.

"But a misnomer is often just embarrassing, like trying to impress a friend by
referring to a Burgundy wine as a 'Bordeaux.'" [1]

This is how I feel: it is embarrassing to see Riordan choose the term 'Catalan
numbers' although he clearly knew of Euler's and Segner's pioneer work.

"Sometimes, however, what began as a misnomer has become a standard term:
the game of Chinese checkers  does not come from China;" [1]

This is exactly what happened here: "Riordan clearly made a conscious decision
to popularize the term back in 1948, and eventually succeeded." [2]

Peter

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/misnomer
[2] http://igorpak.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/who-named-catalan-numbers/?


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