Talk:prime number
The following information passed a request for deletion.
This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, but feel free to discuss its conclusions.
prime numberEdit
There are numerous texts that say things like "the number 3 is prime" without using the adjective prime as a part of this phrase. This phrase means nothing more than the sum of its parts.—msh210 20:21, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
 According to Mathworld  A prime number (or prime integer, often simply called a "prime" for short) is a . . . . That's good enough for me. Keep SemperBlotto 21:27, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

 What's good enough for you? The fact that it's called prime or short? or that fact that MathWorld boldfaces the whole phrase? or the fact that the title of MathWorld's entry is "Prime Number"? Or what? (Just trying to understand.)—msh210 21:57, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

 You should be aware that MathWorld has entries that are not findable on Google Scholar or Books or Web search. An example is radical root (google:radicalroot, scholar:radicalroot).—msh210 21:57, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
 In the past we've gone both ways on this; we kept extinct volcano and deleted oblique leaf. I'm not sure if we have any sort of rule for these decisions. —Ruakh_{TALK} 21:42, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
 A math text could say the number 6.3 is prime  but it would be wrong, and you'd need to know the definition to know why. Strong keep. bd2412 T 22:02, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

 Sorry, but that example doesn't really seem to apply; if your math book said that, then you wouldn't see the phrase "prime number" so wouldn't know to look at prime number. —Ruakh_{TALK} 00:34, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
 Keep. Part of the reasoning I use to consider a case like this is whether the combination is likely to be listed as such in a specialist dictionary for that field or would be listed in that form in the index of a textbook on the subject. You could resonably expect to find prime number as a term in a math dictionary or the index of a math text. You would not find oblique leaf as an entry in a botanical glossary or in the index of a botany book. EncycloPetey 00:33, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
 I agree that prime number is a term in the respective indices of some math textbooks. So are personal names; so are sums of parts like free group and prime ideal and permutation group. The latter needs a definition in math dictionary maybe (as permutation group is much more common a term in algebra than permutation alone is, so permutation is unlikely to have a defnition) but not in a general dictionary; nor should the others have definitions in math or regular dictionaries.—msh210 17:15, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
 Keep. “Prime number” is orders of magnitude more common than “prime integer”, so “prime number” seems to be a set phrase. Rod (A. Smith) 17:23, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
 Keep. The meaning of prime is not obvious in the term prime number, especially when there are two maths definitions.Dmol 20:25, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
 Keep set phrase. Connel MacKenzie 15:32, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

 I can see this entry becoming a version of the fried egg test for set phrases. I would agree keep for this as a set phrase because there is no other phrase which you would commonly find which means this particular set of integer numbers. What is the state of the discussion on set phrases at the moment, btw?  Algrif 15:36, 30 August 2007 (UTC)


 See Wiktionary:List of idioms that survived RFD. Fried egg does not apply, but Egyptian pyramid might, and also prior knowledge. Still, I think we should make exceptions for even oblique leaf per above. DAVilla 19:09, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

 Keep. The word prime has n definitions and number has m of them. Theoretically prime number can refer to any of the n x m combinations. As we know, it refers to only one. Most of the combinations do not make sense, but especially from the point of view of nonnative users and those unfamiliar with math terminology, it is useful to know which one is correct. Besides, the term prime number has established translations into other languages, which cannot necessarily be derived from its parts. Hekaheka 16:12, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
Kept. DAVilla 19:09, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
Non mathematical meaning?Edit
Doesn't it have a secondary meaning for 'an important number' of a particular thing? 89.243.163.176 22:13, 21 September 2010 (UTC)