Time to test this "Mastodon Poll" thingy ...

Is a square a special kind of rectangle?

Please boost for wider engagement - it would be nice to get reactions from more people ...


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@ColinTheMathmo I think you'd have gotten more passionate responses if you asked whether a parallelogram is a special kind of trapezoid.

@ColinTheMathmo very different response to your equivalent twitter version. Interesting!

@Bruce Isn't it.

Context matters.

I've been told that primary school teachers have been told to teach that a shape can be either a square *or* a rectangle but not both.

@ColinTheMathmo I remember a maths lesson from my childhood where we had to work out which shapes were special cases of other shapes and decide how to show this graphically. It was a fascinating lesson which now “couldn’t” be taught! I made a sort of flow diagram and got a gold star!

@Bruce That sounds fabulous - love it! Have you seen the Euler diagram of the quadrilaterals where the containing shapes are the shapes themselves?

@ColinTheMathmo that is wonderful. I’ve certainly not seen anything like that before. My primary school teacher would have given a huge gold star for that

I'd like to know what "it depends" _on_, if anyone giving that answer would care to explain.

@bmreiniger @ColinTheMathmo "It depends" is a wildcard, to respond when unsure, but don't want to look stupid, giving wrong answer.

@amiloradovsky That's using a definition of "circle" that then varies as you change your metric.

Interesting stuff, but not really the question we're looking at.

@ColinTheMathmo It's actually the usual definition of a circle/sphere, as the locus of equidistant points from a (center) point. It just so happens that this circle/sphere would look just like a coordinate square/parallelogram.
It's all about the distances/metric/norm/etc.

@amiloradovsky Indeed, I know that, just not sure it's all that helpful in this context.

Useful in other contexts - I use it quite a lot in various places.

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