Talk:Triviality (mathematics)

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arte trivialle[edit]

This is a common mistake, but you're right in that it should be should be detailed here. However, the usage you mentioned is not an origin: it is one of the earliest known uses of the word in (Middle) English. It dates back to a work from 1432-50 mention of the "arte trivialle," an allusion to the three liberal arts that made up the trivium, the lower division of the seven liberal arts taught in medieval universities: grammar, rhetoric, and logic.

It's still good information though, so I'll reformat this entry slightly to show that.

ClockworkTroll 13:18, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)


Two things:

  1. Everything but the Mathematics section is pure dictionary definition (and etymology), and would seem to belong better in Wiktionary, no?
  2. I just saved this article with an expanded Mathematics section. However, I'm unhappy with the final paragraph (the one about proof by cases). What I'd like there is (appended to what's there now) an example! But, alas, I can't think of one in which the trivial case is not one concerning a trivial object. (An example of that nature would just confuse the two uses of trivial.) There are plenty such examples, though, I know: can someone please fill one in?

msh210 19:33, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Reference to "surely you're joking mr. feynman"[edit]

The story about the two mathematicians is nearly quoted from Surely_You're_Joking,_Mr._Feynman. Please refer to it. 09:17, 13 March 2007 (UTC)Ronno

"trivial proof"[edit]

Should we include a section on triviality in proof? We often say "proof is trivial" or "it is trivial to prove ____." I mean, we could easily concoct an example:

Definition: An integer k is odd if it can be written k = 2n for some integer n. Theorem: For integers n and k such that k = n×2, k is even. Proof: (Trivial)

--Cheeser1 21:46, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Surely "trivial" is not used only in maths...[edit]

I can think of a wide variety of examples... (talk) 14:45, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

Page should be merged[edit]

  1. Nontrivial is in Category:Mathematical terminology
  2. All examples are mathematics examples and the entire Examples section can be retitled to "In mathematics" and have the first sentence be an opener for that section.
  3. Nontrivial has only the definition "not trivial", and is not used very often in English when you remove its instances as describing mathematical terms, see this graph for what I mean.
  4. Defining the meaning of the adjective "nontrivial" outside of the scope of mathematics should be on Wiktionary, not Wikipedia.

Penitence (talk) 22:27, 26 September 2013 (UTC)