Talk:Sigma

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entry removed[edit]

Can't find any info about this anywhere. Dab pages are supposed to link to wikipedia pages that otherwise would get mixed up. No such page exists for this concept. Tedernst | talk 22:12, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Horniness in a book is science?[edit]

Uhm,

"a measure of horniness by Lawrence Waterhouse in Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon"

Would perhaps be better to make that an entry in new section "Fictional something".

159.51.236.194 13:17, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

You clearly haven't read the book. It's used as the variable in a scientific/mathematical measurement. -- Loweeel 15:19, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Well no, I haven't, so I wouldn't push the matter. Still, that book is classified as "historical fiction", and I'd rather have a more solid source. Is that Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse guy for real or just an invention, and if he's for real, did or didn't he use Sigma for a horniness measure?

In some way the idea of calculating chances of gaining information from an informant based on their horniness *could* make sense so I'm .. still lost.

159.51.236.194 16:36, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Well, see for yourselves here -- http://newark.pardey.org/book/cryptonomicon/slide63.html . Waterhouse is fictional, but he DOES use Sigma for a horniness measure. -- Loweeel 11:32, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Oh, come now, fictional science isn't science. In the absence of a verifiable use of the word in that use, let's just either delete it or move it to popular culture. Richard Pinch 18:53, 3 September 2006 (UTC)


MS markup[edit]

Is that "may mark a line that is out of place" or should it be "marks a line that may be out of place"? Richard Pinch 19:02, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Sigmas in Unicode[edit]

Why has Unicode separate code points for uppercase sigma, non-final lowercase sigma, and final lowercase sigma assigned? --84.61.40.91 09:21, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Because, as the first line of the article states, lowercase sigma is written in different forms in non-final and final positions. Richard Pinch 06:17, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
More importantly, final sigma and non-final sigma have different numerical values -- see Greek numerals -- Theorbtwo (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 07:58, 24 September 2010 (UTC).
Sorry, that comment was incorrect, I think I was thinking of Hebrew. A section on unicode has been added to the main article, with a reference, that answers this question. -- Theorbtwo (talk) 08:35, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Sound[edit]

Am I missing something, or does this article make no mention whatsoever about the sound(s) produced by sigma in classical and modern Greek? I don't happen to know myself (that happens to be why I came here in the first place), or I'd add it myself. Perhaps someone would be so kind? LordSnow (talk) 21:13, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Added, finally. — Eru·tuon 14:00, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

I've corrected the sentence telling that Σ was spelled as /z/ before /m/ or /n/ in ancient times: this is still a fact in modern language, too.--Κλειδοκράτωρ (talk) 01:24, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Unicode[edit]

Some of it isn't appearing when I come to this and other articles (there is just a blank square/box). Is there somewhere I can download the fonts? Forgive my unlearned approach to computing! ArdClose (talk) 17:17, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Lunate sigma[edit]

Does the name "lunate sigma" come from the fact that it looks like a half-moon? (latin Luna = moon) If so, this should be mentioned in the article. --NetRolller 3D 18:21, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

"Greek life"?[edit]

Does anyone know what the section "Greek life" is talking about? Sounds pretty much like gibberish to me. Wyverald (talk) 12:07, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

ς and σ vs. s and ſ[edit]

In the latin alphabet until a century ago, long s (ſ) was in common use, analogously to ς and σ. Short s (s) was used at the end and after a long s (ſ) hence the ligature ß in German from ſs. So in English Odysseus would have been Odyſseus and not Odyſſeus, like (Ὀδυσσεύς). I checked by googling as I was not taught greek and -σσ- is correct. Regardlessly, the two are very similar, I have no idea who influenced who (lower case came from the latin alphabet so I'd assume it was that was too, but short s reappears in post carolingian scripts, so the habit was not there from the start), so I think it should be mentioned. --Squidonius (talk) 01:53, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

Can't say about the exact sequence, but the distinction in Greek must be the result of a formalization and standardization of earlier handwritten practice that happened during the adaptation of minuscule handwriting to early Western printing. In origin, both lowercase forms are just cursive versions of "lunate" C-shaped sigma, with and without a connecting line towards the right. Fut.Perf. 07:20, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Etymology?[edit]

What does the name of the character, "Sigma", mean, or if lost to late meaning, then have as its origins? 67.171.248.22 (talk) 23:25, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Good question. Answered here. Fut.Perf. 07:16, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Fixing cut-and-paste move[edit]

I'm going to do a complex fix to an old cut-and-paste move that happened on 2008-03-10.

Up to now:

  • the old history of the Greek letter Sigma article up to 2008-03-10 has been in the page history of Sigma (letter)
  • the more recent history of that article is in the page history of Sigma.
  • the old history of the disambiguation page up to 2008-03-10 has been in the page history of Sigma.
  • the more recent history of that article is in the page history of Sigma (disambiguation).

I'm going to swap these. Fut.Perf. 22:03, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Sigma in popular media[edit]

Sigma is also used to designate the creative fraction of the "Alpha" Artificial Intelligence in the popular web series Red vs. Blue,

i am not a registered user so i can not add this myself, please consider this for the articles Miscellaneous section.  —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.12.110.53 (talk) 06:20, 12 April 2011 (UTC) 

Removed "but the sound is derived from Phoenician samekh, which appear as inconsistency in transcribing sibilants"[edit]

This remark sounds exceedingly strange to me:

1) We don't know how the Phoenician Samekh and Shin were pronounced 2800 years ago. There is little reason to believe it was the same as in modern Hebrew. It is not unlikely it still was an affricate as most scholars today believe to have been in Proto-Semitic. The fact the Greek Ksi is derived from Samekh is circumstantial evidence for that.

2) Neither Greek nor Latin distinguished (as Greek still doesn't do it) between /s/ and /ʃ/. Even if Samekh and Shin had had the modern Hebrew sound values back then, there is no "inconsistency".

Berndf (talk) 18:43, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Let's stick to the source and mention
  • shape and position of shin
  • sound and name of samek
Sibilants part in source:

Sibilants ... are notorious tripping points between languages generally.

—David Sacks, Letter Perfect: The Marvelous History of Our Alphabet From A to Z
AgadaUrbanit (talk) 07:26, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
The issue with the name is discussed in the following section (etymology). I don't think we have to give the explanation "name of samek", especially when we say afterwards that this is only ONE theory.
With respect to the claim that sigma has the "sound .. of samek", 19th century semitologists generally believed samek to have been [s] and shin/sin [ʃ]. Today, this is definitely not consensus view any more. It is still consensus view that shin and sin were merged in Northern Canaanite (i.e. Phoenician) but a largely held, probably majority view today is that samek was [t͜s] and shin/sin [s]. On Phoenician language we write:
The original value of the Proto-Semitic sibilants, and accordingly of their Phoenician counterparts, is disputed, with many scholars arguing that š was [s], s was [ts], z was [dz] and ṣ was [tsʼ], while others stick to the traditional sound values of [ʃ], [s], [z] and [sˤ] as reflected in the transcription.
I don't have access to Sacks' book. What exactly does he write and if he really claims sigma to have taken the sound value of samek (which, I still maintain, would be a meaningless assertion, if he meant [s] vs. [ʃ], as Greek never phonemically distinguished the two sounds)? And how does he explain position and sound value of xi?
Berndf (talk) 12:44, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Usage as the letter E[edit]

Can we add this topic? The upper case sigma is similar in appearance to the upper case "E" that it's sometimes used artistically to replace the upper case E in non-Greek languages to suggest a Greek-related subject matter. See title font of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Ssredg (talk) 05:26, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Companies Section[edit]

Do we really need the section for the companies named after the letter? It's not very long, and isn't adding very much to the article. Steeldragon7 (talk) 00:25, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

Unicode as an "encoding"[edit]

In the encoding tables, shouldn't "Unicode" rather be UCS4 or UTF-32? Calling Unicode an "encoding" is a bit misleading. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.9.176.129 (talk) 16:05, 11 March 2014 (UTC)