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Math Help - convention in straight line equation?

  1. #1
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    convention in straight line equation?

    in most straight lines equations found in books i see that the sign of the constant is always kept positive even if it means keeping the other two coeff. negative. why?
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  2. #2
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    Re: convention in straight line equation?

    Quote Originally Posted by AaPa View Post
    in most straight lines equations found in books i see that the sign of the constant is always kept positive even if it means keeping the other two coeff. negative. why?
    That may well have been your experience, it is truly not mine.
    I have been teaching mathematics for almost fifty years and I have never seen that convention.

    In fact, I think it would highly unusual to see
    -2x-3y=4\text{ or even }-6x-y+7=0.
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    Re: convention in straight line equation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Plato View Post
    That may well have been your experience, it is truly not mine.
    I have been teaching mathematics for almost fifty years and I have never seen that convention.
    Since you were four!

    In fact, I think it would highly unusual to see
    -2x-3y=4\text{ or even }-6x-y+7=0.
    Far more common is to have the "leading" coefficient, typically the coefficient of x, positive.
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    Re: convention in straight line equation?

    Quote Originally Posted by HallsofIvy View Post
    Far more common is to have the "leading" coefficient, typically the coefficient of x, positive.
    Is there a reason for that?
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  5. #5
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    Re: convention in straight line equation?

    It reduces the amount of typing because you don't have to type a "leading" +! I can type 4x- 3y= 7 with only 7 symbols. But -4x+ 3y= -7 has 9 symbols to type.
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