# [plt-scheme] Why "lambda"?

On Tue, May 26, 2009 at 12:38 PM, Prabhakar Ragde <plragde at uwaterloo.ca> wrote:
>* Dave Herman wrote:
*>*
*>>>* Does anyone know if Church had anything in mind for lambda to stand
*>>>* > for, or was it just an arbitrary choice?
*>>*
*>>* page 7:
*>>* http://www-maths.swan.ac.uk/staff/jrh/papers/JRHHislamWeb.pdf
*>>*
*>>* page 182:
*>>* http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.26.7908
*>*
*>* From the second reference:
*>*
*>>* Church originally intended to use the notation xˆ .2x+1. The typesetter
*>>* could
*>>* not position the hat on top of the x
*>*
*>* This I do not believe. A typesetter for a journal of mathematics in the
*>* 1930's could not typeset x^? (Heh, Thunderbird appears unable to. Let's try
*>* again: ˆx.)
*>*
*>* What I read somewhere (I cannot find it at this moment) was that the hat was
*>* moved to before the x (as the first reference above confirms, to distinguish
*>* function-abstraction from class-abstraction), but that it was then made
*>* larger for visibility, using an upper-case lambda, which looks like an
*>* upside-down V. But that looked too much like a capital A, so they went with
*>* lower-case lambda. --PR
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