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)

Requested move 14 May 2017[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Not moved. Clear absence of consensus for the proposed move; also an absence of consensus to move to Trivial (mathematics), although this may benefit from a discrete discussion. bd2412 T 16:21, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Triviality (mathematics)Triviality – Currently "triviality" redirects to "trivia", but that entire page has zero occurrence of the word "triviality". This page is the only one whose title starts with "triviality". GeT RiGhT (talk) 19:33, 14 May 2017 (UTC)--Relisting. Yashovardhan (talk) 03:59, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

  • Move to Trivial (mathematics). The article uses "trivial", not "triviality". It is wrong to use a different word form to disambiguate. It causes confusion. Laurdecl talk 08:55, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
    • The noun as the title is per WP:NOUN. All adjective terminologies are titled with the noun form. A quick example which immediately came to my mind: legality. GeT RiGhT (talk) 00:14, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
      • One section reads: "In mathematics, the term trivial is frequently used for objects (for examples, groups or topological spaces) that have a very simple structure". This should be the lead, not some confusing cruft about nouns and adjectives as it is at the moment to support this unnatural title. Laurdecl talk 06:17, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Support "Trivial (mathematics)" would be just as confusing. Because of the prevailing encyclopaedic tone, just "Trivial" sounds like the name of a product or company. It is not encyclopaedic to use an adjective in a title when there's a perfectly good noun. —A L T E R C A R I   16:03, 15 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment Another reason which I believe the move is appropriate is that the word "trivial" is really not exclusive to mathematics. The word is used in all subjects which stress abstract reasoning, chief among which are philosophy and mathematics. GeT RiGhT (talk) 00:07, 16 May 2017 (UTC)
  • To many people, "triviality" would be taken to mean "trivialness", and things can be trivial in many fields of experience. Keep the disambiguater. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 14:08, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Move to Trivial (mathematics) In ictu oculi (talk) 14:10, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Support as proposed. We don't name concepts after adjectives, we name them after the noun (e.g. isomorphism, not isomorphic), so "Trivial (mathematics)" would be wrong. Triviality is the best title, and it is effectively unambiguous, since we have no article for "trivialness", and triviality does not really mean the same as trivia.  — Amakuru (talk) 09:51, 13 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Anthony Appleyard. Ambiguous with a common word. Maybe Mathematically trivial solutions. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 13:04, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.