Tradition

I took the family to watch a local theater production of Fiddler on the Roof. We also happened to be discussing basic math around the same time, so I came up with the following song. I didn’t bother to put it into sheet music form – if you don’t know the song well enough to sing it in your head with these new words, then you wouldn’t appreciate it anyway.

Who, day and night, must add up numbers quickly,
Scaling up summation, by a common term?
And who has the right, as dear Aunt Sally says, to go first in the operations?

The product, the product!
Multiplication!
The product, the product!
Multiplication!

Who must know the way to split the numbers up, in equal parts, in kosher parts?
Who must use long form to get the answer right, to get remainders to cooperate?

The quotient, the quotient!
Division!
The quotient, the quotient!
Division!

If you want to combine numbers but don’t want to count up,
Just use the plus sign in your math; it makes things easy.

The sum, the sum!
Addition!
The sum, the sum!
Addition!

And who does the equation ask to count backwards,
Comparing the two numbers, to find the space between?

The difference, the difference!
Subtraction!
The difference, the difference!
Subtraction!

It mostly fits, except that tradition is three syllables and multiplication is five. It works great with division, addition, and subtraction. If you know of any 3-syllable word that means “multiplication” and rhymes with tradition, please put that in a comment.

I wasn’t trying to put the 4 terms in the order of operations, but it worked out nicely that way. What I did was tried to fit the math term with the closest-sounding original word. I think I started with “the sum” matching up with “the son” and then I matched “the product” with “the papa”, then “the difference” with “the daughter” because they both start with D. That paired “the quotient” with “the mama”, which doesn’t really match but there was not much of a choice left.

Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.

1 Corinthians 11:2

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This little article thingy was written by Some Guy sometime around 6:32 am and has been carefully placed in the Ideas category.

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