CHARACTER

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CHARACTER. This name is given to certain marks, used to signify objects or ideas. The written language of the Chinese is a language of figures, every object or notion being expressed in it by a particular figure. We, also, for the sake of brevity and precision, use, in several sciences, certain signs: for instanceAstronomical Signs: Q Sun; J) Moon; 0 Earth; $ Mercury; 9 Venus; $ Mars;S Vesta; <J> Juno; <J> Pallas; $ Ceres; Jupiter; ^Saturn; $ Herschel. The twelve signs of the zodiac: °f Aries; y Taurus; n Gemini; £5 Cancer; £l Leo ; n^ Virgo; £h Libra; n\ Scorpio; f Sagittarius; VJ Capricornus; xs Aquarius ; >£ Pisces.Mathematical and Arithmetical Signs, &c. : Roman ciphers: I, 1; 11,2; 111,3; IV, 4; V,5: VI,6; VII, 7; VIII, 8; IX, 9; X, 10; XX, 20; L, 50; C, 100; CC, 200; D or IO, 500; M or CIO, 1000, &c. In Algebra, the first letters of the alphabet, a, h, c, commonly denote given magnitudes, while the last letters, x, y, z, &c, stand for unknown magnitudes, which are to be found. Furthermore, \(plus) more, (minus) less, signify addition and subtraction; X denotes multiplication, division, = equality, V root (radix). Also: ° degree ;' minute ; /; second; '" third; &c.Chemical Signs: A air; V earth; V water; /\ fire; J) silvery Q gold; 9 copper; $ iron; \ lead; J/ tin ; £ quicksilver; © nitre; © salt; £ sulphur; 5 tartar. Geometrical and Trigonometrical Signs: |_ angle; A triangle; ? square; O circle ; w similarity ; 11 or fl parallel; g£ equality and similarity, or coincidence; A ^> B, A greater than B.Formerly there were more signs and abbreviations used in scientific works than at present. In Prussia, the use of signs in medical prescriptions has been abolished on account of the danger of their being confounded.