There Is A Hidden Meaning In The Division Sign You've Probably Never Noticed

On Monday, Twitter user Abdul Dremali tweeted an observation about the division symbol that quickly went viral for making everyone see their childhood math lessons differently.

According to BuzzFeed, there’s some anecdotal truth to this idea. While the symbol, known as an obelus, was once used to signify uncertainty in a quotation or even subtraction, it isn’t clear why it was eventually adopted as a division symbol in 1659. But math teachers have used it ever since to help teach students that division is just making two numbers into a simplified fraction—and it isn’t the only symbol in which Twitter users have noted a clever design.

And guess what—‰ is called the permille and ‱ is called the permyriad. You can see how they get their names—per cent means per hundred and per mille means per thousand, derived from Latin. A “myriad” is an outdated way to say ten thousand.

That one’s not technically math, but I bet you never realized that (or, at least I didn’t). For many of these, I just wish I knew the meanings of the symbols when I was struggling in elementary school math.

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J.K. Rowling Just Officially Revealed That There Was More Than One Harry Potter

J.K. Rowling is keeping the Harry Potter universe alive and breathing through her world-building site, Pottermore. She frequently posts short stories expanding the world of witches and wizards, and it’s kept fans satisfied since the last book’s publication.

But a recent post from Rowling has many fans scratching their heads and wondering what the famous author’s future plans are.

In a recent post entitled The Potter Family, Rowling delves deep into Harry’s family tree and their lineage. She begins:

“The Potter family is a very old one, but it was never (until the birth of Harry James Potter) at the very forefront of wizarding history, contenting itself with a solid and comfortable existence in the backwaters.”

But it was this piece in the middle of the story that caught fans’ attentions:

“… Henry Potter (Harry to his intimates),  who was a direct descendant of Hardwin and lolanthe, and served on the Wizengamot from 1913-1921.”

That’s right. There was a Harry Potter before Harry Potter.

This Harry Potter, or Henry, was the one we know’s great-grandfather. As it turns out, he was just as big a do-gooder as his great-grandson would end up becoming. Rowling writes:

“Henry caused a minor stir when he publicly condemned then Minister for Magic, Archer Evermonde, who had forbidden the magical community to help Muggles waging the First World War.

His outspokenness on the behalf of the Muggle community was also a strong contributing factor in the family’s exclusion from the ‘Sacred Twenty-Eight’.”

The ‘Sacred Twenty-Eight’ were the 28 British families that were still “truly pure-blood,” or married to other pure-blood wizards, by the 1930s. Fans have interpreted this as a sign of things to come.

Rowling’s most recent film, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, was set in the 1920’s. Since there are four more films in this series slated for release, many are looking at these tales for any indication of where the stories might go. If future movies take the wizards into World War II, a group of xenophobic wizards would fit right in.

Whatever Rowling has planned, you can bet Harry Potter fans will eat it up and look for any clues they can find.

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