I know that some Eastern European and Middle Asian countries denote the tangent by $\operatorname{tg}$. For many years, I have used $\tan$ instead, but am currently thinking of changing that notation to $\operatorname{tg}$. I think $\operatorname{tg}$ is better than $\tan$ because I can write $\operatorname{tg}$ in cursive very easily (unlike $\tan$).

I would like to know why the United States, with its many Nobel prizes, has been using $\tan$ rather than $\operatorname{tg}$.

  • $\begingroup$ It is already addressed here: math.stackexchange.com/questions/179881/… $\endgroup$
    – AChem
    Dec 17, 2021 at 2:48
  • $\begingroup$ Do you really think that the evolution of language (also symbolic one) is fully "rational"? Having said that, why "tan"? because it is the abbreviation of tangent: from Latin tangens. $\endgroup$ Dec 17, 2021 at 7:19
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The $\tan$ abbreviation became commonplace in England since the 17th century ($\textrm{tang}$ and $\textrm{t}$ were also used). The $\textrm{tg}$ abbreviation was occasionally used by Euler, but did not gain much traction until the 19th century, and only on the Continent, see Cajori, History of Mathematical Notation, v.II. The US simply followed English use, and textbooks eventually canonized it. If you are looking for "deep reasons" there are none, herding and inertia do the work. $\endgroup$
    – Conifold
    Dec 17, 2021 at 10:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Conifold I like your "herding and inertia do the work" $\endgroup$ Jan 2, 2022 at 23:55


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