Subject: Re: Why quadratic?
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 1998 20:23:21 -0400
From: Alex Bogomolny
Thank you for the kind words.
I am afraid you may be mistaken about my knowledge. I can't tell you for sure but making a guess I think the usage of the word "quadratic" to designate the second order equations or functions originates with the Ancients. Multiplication for them meant drawing a rectangle with the given sides. Think of why we say "n squared". If you accept this logic then the next step should be easy. A square (like a rectangle) has four corners. "Quadrate" means being square or approximately square.