[plt-scheme] Why "lambda"?

From: Todd O'Bryan (toddobryan at gmail.com)
Date: Tue May 26 12:47:36 EDT 2009

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On Tue, May 26, 2009 at 12:46 PM, Todd O'Bryan <toddobryan at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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=
>> 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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