A is for Y=*?!*

I read an awesome post on That Spencer Blokes blog. He is starting an A – Z of things he doesn’t like, and A is for Astronauts made me chuckle. Give him a visit and see what he has against Space bastards. I like complaining, and I like the alphabet, so I am following in his footsteps.

In my alphabet of the irritating A is for Algebra.

What is the point? Designed by demons, and only understood by wizards, it is the WORST bit of maths. And maths was always my least favourite subject. SO it is my least favourite part of my least favourite subject.

One of the things that annoys me about it is that it involves letters. X and Y predominantly, but others too. And why? Letters are for making lovely words with. Letters are my friends, I like them, I use them, I can sing songs about them. Maths should leave letters alone, Y is simply a number in a fancy dress costume in these algebraic scenarios. And we are supposed to figure our what number it is. Well I simply don’t want to, if it cares that much about being identified it should stop hiding behind a member of the alphabet.

What’s worse is that my dread of equations such as Y = -0.2x^2 + 12x + 11 is that as well as stealing letters and abusing them in a mathematical styley, it also turns up in another of my loves quite a lot.

I like a bit of science. Its enormous ideas of stuff and everything are fascinating, thrilling, wonderful and awe inspiring. I can be merrily reading away about black holes, dark matter, and the search for god particles, then without so much as a dastardly theme tune, an equation will turn up and send me running for the hills with a cry of ‘Witchcraft’. I am interested in how the Universe works. I can be admiring the beauty of creation, pondering the wonders of existence and musing on the very meaning of life, but then a hulking great ugly sum thing pops up to ruin all the fun. It may well be that Douglas Adams was spot on when he said in his books that the answer to Life, The Universe and Everything is 42, but I do not want to see the equation that sits before the equals sign.

It has been a long time since I gladly flicked the Vs at Maths and left it behind me at the school gates. I thought I had seen the last of it. But no. It re-appeared to mock me and humiliate me in front of my children. Bastard. You see there came a time where my daughter asked for help with her homework. Algebra had returned, and it was angry. I tried my best, I cried, I begged, I pleaded with the strange figures that danced on the page. And then I rang my Mum, who is fortunately a mathematics magician, and got her to help instead! I WIN algebra. I win…..

Other close calls for my champion of bothersome As were :-
Arachnids, Apples and Arseholes.

What A’s annoy you? 

Love Miss ‘Y=WHY?’ Cisco XXX



  1. Tas D
    March 5, 2013 / 9:04 am

    I used to hate algebra at school. I left about 18 years ago and never once in all that time have I though “ooh what a dilemma, I know! I will do a bit of algebra and then I will know the answer!”

    • Sonya Cisco
      March 5, 2013 / 10:39 am

      Nope- i hadnt used it between my school days and the teens! Hasnt got any easier…

  2. sabrina montagnoli
    March 5, 2013 / 9:23 am

    I still use my fingers to count so I think that explains my relationship with maths much less algebra. Hubby loves it so thankfully I will be sending wee man to him! I hate anything arbitrary, I need a reason. Does that count as an annoying A?

    • Sonya Cisco
      March 5, 2013 / 10:40 am

      Abitrary is a great A! And my OH has no more of a clue than me when it comes to maths!

  3. SarahMummy
    March 5, 2013 / 11:14 am

    I’m not keen on ants. They get everywhere, but I won’t kill them because it’s against my principles. As for the algebra, I’m grateful that middle one is such a genius he will be able to do his homework and help his big brother and little sis with theirs. If it ain’t basic arithmetic, I can’t do it!

    • Sonya Cisco
      March 5, 2013 / 12:42 pm

      At least you have someone in the House to ask in an algebra emergency. I am not keen on ants either! Bloomin’ things!

  4. @ADadCalledSpen
    March 5, 2013 / 12:23 pm

    Brilliant! Thanks so much for joining in on this one. Will you be doing the whole A-Z thing? My next is B but needs editing a bit as it contains far too many swearwords.
    You are something beginning with A by the way.


    • Sonya Cisco
      March 5, 2013 / 12:24 pm

      I will join in as many as I remember to! Is B for bloody, buggering bastards ok? 🙂

  5. Little Rascal Reviews
    March 5, 2013 / 3:37 pm

    Haha, great post. I love it! What a fab idea. I’m waiting for ‘O’ to add Olives to the list “Satan’s Snacks”!

    • Sonya Cisco
      March 6, 2013 / 2:18 pm

      I grew into olives! 🙂

  6. Looking for Blue Sky
    March 5, 2013 / 9:39 pm

    Guess I’d better not say ‘A’ is for Aspergers 🙂 So I’ll go for the Ants that keep invading my kitchen and the Application Forms that are the bane of my life!

    • Sonya Cisco
      March 6, 2013 / 2:20 pm

      When I get to F it will be for Effing Forms!! 🙂

  7. March 6, 2013 / 12:23 am

    LOVE this idea! Algebra leaves me completely befuddled. My eyes gloss over at equations. Arachnids and Ants AND assholes would be my A’s, even though arachnids and ants are useful little critters; and really they can’t help how they were born into their skin can they, so really it would have to be Assholes – because they have a choice to be or not to be. Right?

    • Sonya Cisco
      March 6, 2013 / 2:21 pm

      Now I have Eddie Izzards ‘if bees make honey, do spiders make gravy’ sketch running round my head!

  8. Adventures of a Middle-aged Matron
    March 6, 2013 / 10:50 am

    My beef about maths teaching is that they never tell you what you might need to use it for, hence it seems gibberish. During my brief and inglorious stint in an investment bank I was baffled by the formula I was given to calculate someone’s dividends and deprived them of several thousand quid, but as soon as someone explained what each component of the formula meant it made beautiful sense.

    • Sonya Cisco
      March 6, 2013 / 2:21 pm

      Oh I didn’t know you were a banker? (Sniggers in a rhyming slang styley!) I agree- practical use of anything makes it so much easier to grasp!

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