Multiplication

Permit me a bit of pettiness, okay?

Come to think of it, it’s probably the first thing you expect of me when coming here.

Anyway, I digress.

I don’t know much algebra. That said, I still do know that multiplying something by two is a very different thing than multiplying it by itself! It seems that many people, marketers and advertisers chief among them, are not aware of this difference.

Want an example? According to the Wikipedia,

Current TV is the first American 24-hour network based around viewer-created content, which it dubs VC².

They clearly mean VCC and are trying to be clever by shortening it to VC², except the two are not remotely the same thing. If anything, they mean V(2×C) and not V(C×C).

I see where you’re going to take this though. You’re going to tell me that V(2×C) can also be correctly expressed as V(2C), and since 2C is equivalent to 2×C, then CC is equivalent to C×C which is also equivalent to C². While this is true, the abbreviation we started with is simply a string of three letters. There are no implied mathematical operations. The last two letters are the same. Therefore, if they’re going to drag any operation into this, it’s simple multiplication by two, and certainly not multiplication with each other.

If they’re going to insist on multiplying the letters with each other, I’m forced to use the only numeric values for ‘V’ and ‘C’ I know and assume V×C×C is 50,000. Where’s the sense in that?

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