It was suggested that I put this on the CF board by someone on the classroom board. They thought some of your math people would get a kick out of trying to figure it out. You can check out the original post (and the very good answers) on the classroom board if you want. Here goes... i am the square root of negative one I don't know how to notate this on my computer keyboard... It should say... i (in italics) AM -1 (under the square root sign). It reads "I am the square root of negaitve one". That is what the kids on the homeschool mathcounts team (including my son) picked to put on their team teeshirts. Anybody want to explain this little bit of math humor to me? *sigh* He's in 6th grade. Oh, well... at least I can still teach him something about ENGLISH! (Really, I am proud of him of course, but I do feel a little dumb today.)

The square root of -1 is called an Imaginary number. It is locigally impossible, but you need to use it to solve math problems. don't know if that would have anything to do with it though . . . Cathy

So the suggestions for a meaning so far (from here, and the classroom board) are... I am a complex number I am imaginary i am i (meaning I am myself) I do not exist... Maybe we should vote? Cindyc.

Please correct your syntax and grammar. The subject line should be, "i is the square root of -1" It is funny (geek humor). Mathematicians define i to be the square root of minus one. They do this because you can't calculate it. Funnier was the Xmas shirt I saw that had a green "L" with a red circle around it and a line through it. Ron

That is probably true, but the T-shirt says " i AM the square root of negative one" (in numeric notation). It is not an error. It is supposed to be some kind of math funny. I am glad that my son and his math team friends get it, I really am, but I am still lost. Cindyc.

I have no clue about these things, but I'll be watching this thread to find out. These kids have a whole new language too.

oh folks, it's just a play on words. "I" is taken to mean that the person is talking in the first person but in this case it means the square root of negative one! not a big deal... funny, not hilarious. I have a shirt that says "There's no place like 127.0.0.1". That is the IP address of any local computer (itself). It means there's no place like home. I have another shirt that says, "There are only 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary and those who don't". 10 in binary is "2" in decimal. Funny, but not THAT funny... Like when I say, "I have a question", and someone answers, "What is it"? I respond, "It's an interrogative statement used to test knowledge, but that's not important right now". Or when they say "what's up", and I say, "Any direction with it's vector vertical component parallel to the surface normal of the plane tangent to the earth's relative axis line at the point to which you are referring". Funny, but you gotta be a GEEK Ron

this is a cross post with the classroom board,for those of you who don't go there. OK, we were wrong. i am the square root of negative one. i is the answer to the math problem "what is the square root of negative one?" Loosely translating the math geek language, these pre-teen boys are a bit cocky. They are saying, "I am the answer." Oh, well, let 'em have their fun. They will find out soon enough that the square root of negative one is NOT the question. They may be good at math, but life will surely present other challenges for them. I remember being full of myself in school, too. Cindyc.

Even geeks can use proper punctuation, though. The possessive of "it" does not have an apostrophe. Pony!

lol... thanks Pony. Don't know HOW that got in there (makes a mental note to be real careful around Pony from now on)

I wasn't trying to be picky, I was just sayin', is all. I'm a geek who prides herself on grammar and punctuation, though I have been known to dangle a participle, split an infinitive, and end a sentence in a preposition. (I've ended sentences in propositions, too, but this is a family forum... ) Pony!

*SIGH* I am. And I'm married to one. And we're raising geeklings. For Christmas, we got some tshirts for the boys from www.thinkgeek.com. One says "+20 Shirt of Smiting" -- if you get that, you ARE a geek, face it. And the other says "Soilent Green is People". What can I say? We're Harry Harrison fans here... all of us.

PULEEZE, do NOT tell my husband about this site! (Is there an emoticon that is down on it's knees, begging for mercy? ) Cindyc.

LOL... that site will have you broke in NO time. I have a couple of mugs and have purchased gifts for geeks from there as well. I also have the "uebergeek" t-shirt (a personal favorite).