Sep 9, 2007

Rapid Rhetoric: TENTAMEN

Raphael's depiction of Plato defining the difference between true and false rhetoric This is an irregular feature - both in frequency and oddness - dedicated to a word I came across that I have never previously used.

tentamen (TENT-ah-mehn) n. an attempt, experiment, or test to determine results through trial and error.

The plural form of this word is tentamina, and the word is of Greek origin, which has similar connotations. Most often this term is used in mathematics and philosophy to describe attempts to prove a supposition.

I came across tentamen in a Wikipedia article on Farkas Bolyai, a Hungarian mathematician who completed groundbreaking work on Euclid's parallel axiom.

1 comment:

Mad Jack said...

In an attempt to prove the direct, proportional relationship between public approval ratings and futile military actions overseas, President George W. Bush has forced the US military to participate in one failed tentamen after another.

- Tribulations of a Howler Monkey in the Washington DC Political Arena, by M. Jack