Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"Exponentially Better"

Dear residents in my little area of the country,

I keep hearing you use the word exponential in reference to a drastic change from one examined point in time to another.  For example, "I slept exponentially better last night than I did the night before."  Or, "My coffee tastes exponentially worse at this Starbucks as opposed to the one on Main Street."

I usually just smile and nod.  As if I understand what you're saying.

But, I really don't.

How do you know the change is exponential when you're only comparing two points?  How do you know it's not linear, perhaps with a steep slope?

To illustrate my point, let's say on Day 1 you rate your sleep as a 2.  On day 2, you rate your sleep as a 4. (I have no idea what these numbers indicate, but you must be able to rate your sleep on some kind of scale if you can make a statement like the aforementioned one.)  Well, then, maybe your sleep pattern, indeed, is following an exponential trend line:

An exponential function:  y=2^x

Or...you could have trend lines such as:

A linear function:  y=2x

A quadratic function:  y=(2/3)x^2+(4/3)
A logarithmic function:  y=2+2.88539ln(x)

And these only represent a few of the possibilities.

So, residents of the great Midwest:  I urge you--be more creative in your comparisons.  Don't assume you need to use the phrase "exponentially better."  Nay.  Why not try something like, "quadratically better," or "logarithmically better"?


The Picky One


  1. This is also one of my pet peeves. On a few occasions I've tried to explain that the word "exponential" only makes sense when used to describe a rate of change, but this inevitably leads to me being called a pedant and "besides, everyone knows what I mean." (Actually no, they don't.)

  2. in the life of a high school math student, anything increasing and concave up is "exponential"

  3. I remember when I was in college, right after I do my math homework, I make it a point that I read some quotes about sleep to relax my mind before I go to sleep.

  4. Hy.... Very great and informative blog post here. I will share your post with others. Thanks for sharing with us. Keep sharing more interesting things with us. Go on http://bliss-hosting-co for the best hosting in all over the world

  5. I recollect when I was in school, directly after I do my math homework, anything expanding and curved up is "exponential". Generic Viagra http://www.safeformens.com/viagra_generic.html

  6. I remember when I was in college, right after I do my science homework I used to play cricket , please visit my blog on kamagra http://www.kamagramart.org/

  7. I realise when I was in college, right after I do my science homework I used to play cricket

  8. Thank you for taking time to read our post and for sharing. Have a great rest of the day
    Nutritionist in Mumbai
    Dietitian in Mumbai
    Diet plan for weight loss in Mumbai

  9. Thank you for taking time to read our post and for sharing. Have a great rest of the day
    Gold Rate in Kuwait
    Gold price in Kuwait

  10. Along with the question papers, the Uttarakhand Board will release the UK Board 10th model paper. The Uttarakhand Board 10th question papers will be available in pdf format on the official website, UK Board Question Paper Class 10 Students will be able to comprehend and analyse the exam structure, marking system, and significant themes of the UK Board 10th exams by using UK Board 10th question papers.

  11. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is a National level Board of Education in India for Public and Private Schools, Controlled and Managed by Union Government of India, Central Board ofCBSE Science Exemplar Solutions for 10th Class Secondary Education (CBSE) 10th Class High Schools Start in Month of Jun, Central Board Every Year Class X Schools Open in Month of Jun, Summer Holidays After Schools open Students your School Distribution CBSE 10 Class Science Exemplar Books 2023 English, Hindi, Urdu Medium Complete Textbooks


Tell me what you think!