[OS X TeX] TeX and the wild wild world out there

Alain Schremmer Schremmer.Alain at gmail.com
Wed Nov 29 14:30:11 EST 2006

Anthony Morton wrote:

>> Not sure 'acceptable' and 'ugly as hell' fit together.... I just 
>> assessed a PhD thesis which had lots of fairly simple maths in it -- 
>> mostly set theory type stuff, very few subscripts, no fractions, 
>> integrals, roots etc. Because the thesis was prepared in Word the 
>> maths was, as you say, ugly as hell; however, to my eyes that makes 
>> it unacceptable as it's actually very hard to read. It's a BIT LIKE 
> Yep.  I think what we really have is two very different attitudes to 
> maths.  Some of us really care about the maths and want it to look its 
> best, so we use TeX because we can't stand to see a beautiful theorem 
> marred by being typeset in Word.  

That is pretty bad. It is like not being able to stand a beautiful mind 
in an ugly body. What do the two have to do together?

> Others really don't care about the maths so much

Now this makes me very unhappy. Just because my handwriting is terrible, 
does that imply that my love of mathematics is anything less than yours?

> but need it to support whatever other work it is they're doing, so 
> they don't necessarily care very much how it looks.  These others will 
> be drawn to Word because they're likely already familiar with it, and 
> will tend to regard their TeXing colleagues as being overly precious 
> about aesthetics.
> This at least may explain why I see so many engineering papers in Word 
> but still find most mathematicians and physicists I come across using 
> TeX.

Another explanation might be that engineers are not as vain as 
mathematicians and care more about the substance than about the look.

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