What is more correct: "euclidian" or "euclidean"?
In general, there are a lot of words with minor spelling differences. What is the most authoritative and complete source one can find on the internet to consult for explanation?

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Alex filted:
What is more correct: "euclidian" or "euclidean"?

In this case, the form refers back to the man's name in his own language: "Euclides"...had he been Roman, I would have said go the other way..r
Alex filted:

What is more correct: "euclidian" or "euclidean"?

In this case, the form refers back to the man's name in his own language: "Euclides"...

Do we know that Greek was his "own language"? Obviously, it was the language he wrote in, and he was associated with Alexandria, which was officially Greek at the time, but is anything known about what his native tongue was?

Evan Kirshenbaum + HP Laboratories >If a bus station is where a bus
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 >stops, and a train station is wherePalo Alto, CA 94304 >a train stops, what does that say

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What is more correct: "euclidian" or "euclidean"?

Merriam-Webster, 11th ed., shows "Euclidean" as the main entry and "Euclidian" as a variant, marked by the word "also." Their notes on spelling variants say:
When another spelling is joined to the main entry by the word also, the spelling after also occurs
appreciably less often and thus is considered a
secondary variant ... Secondary variants belong to standard usage and may be used according to personal inclination.
In general, there are a lot of words with minor spelling differences. What is the most authoritative and complete source one can find on the internet to consult for explanation?

There is no single reference work for English, partly because of the regional differences. I find Merriam-Webster's work to be reliable; there's a limited free version at m-w.com, and the more complete edition for about $15 per year. You could also try the other sites suggested here:
http://www.alt-usage-english.org/intro b.shtml#OnlineDictionariesGeneral

Sometimes a dictionary will have an illuminating explanation for why a particular prefix or suffix came about. In this case, though, Merriam-Webster doesn't have a lot to say about -ean except that it comes from -an, as does -ian.

Best - Donna Richoux
Evan Kirshenbaum filted:
In this case, the form refers back to the man's name in his own language: "Euclides"...

Do we know that Greek was his "own language"? Obviously, it was the language he wrote in, and he was associated with Alexandria, which was officially Greek at the time, but is anything known about what his native tongue was?

Well, he published in Greek..r
Evan Kirshenbaum filted:

Do we know that Greek was his "own language"? Obviously, ... but is anything known about what his native tongue was?

Well, he published in Greek..r

Eucleides, son of Naucrates son of Zenarchus. Bet they spoke Greek around the house, too. (although it would be even more illuminating to know his mommy's name) CB
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Evan Kirshenbaum filted:

Do we know that Greek was his "own language"? Obviously, ... but is anything known about what his native tongue was?

Well, he published in Greek..r

How many scientists and mathematicians who published in Latin had it as a native tongue?

Evan Kirshenbaum + HP Laboratories >It is error alone which needs the
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 >support of government. Truth canPalo Alto, CA 94304 >stand by itself.

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http://www.kirshenbaum.net /
Eucleides, son of Naucrates son of Zenarchus. Bet they spoke Greek around the house, too. (although it would be even more illuminating to know his mommy's name) CB

Euclid, son of Naucrates, and grandson of Zenarchus, called the author of geometry, a philosopher of somewhat ancient date, a Greek by nationality, domiciled at Damascus, born at Tyre, most learned in the science of geometry, published a most excellent and most useful work entitled the foundation or elements of geometry, a subject in which no more general treatise existed before among the Greeks: nay, there was no one even of later date who did not walk in his footsteps and frankly profess his doctrine... For this reason the Greek philosophers used to post up on the doors of their schools the well-known notice, "Let no one come to our school, who has not first learnt the elements of Euclid."

I guess that's the best we're likely to get. Poking further, though

There is other information about Euclid given by certain authors but it is not thought to be reliable. Two different types of this extra information exists. The first type of extra information is that given by Arabian authors who state that Euclid was the son of Naucrates and that he was born in Tyre. It is believed by historians of mathematics that this is entirely fictitious and was merely invented by the authors.
http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Euclid.html
Arabian and Syrian writers have said Euclid's father was Naucrates, and his grandfather, Zenarchus. They also said he was a Greek who was born in Tyre and lived in Damascus. Alas, most of this information has little evidence of validity, and is probably pure invention.
http://www.math.sfu.ca/histmath/Europe/Euclid300BC/EUCLIDMAIN.HTML

Evan Kirshenbaum + HP Laboratories >It is a popular delusion that the
1501 Page Mill Road, 1U, MS 1141 >government wastes vast amounts ofPalo Alto, CA 94304 >money through inefficiency and sloth.
What is more correct: "euclidian" or "euclidean"? In general, there are a lot of words with minor spelling differences. What is the most authoritative and complete source one can find on the internet to consult for explanation?

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary ( www.m-w.com ) shows them to be equally standard variants. The "also" which precedes "euclidian" indicates that it is a secondary variant, meaning that, while it is no less standard, it appears significantly less often than does "euclidean."

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
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