Do, or don’t. Support, or dissent. It’s totally your choice, but I’m letting my mathematical nazi write this blog post (close cousin to my internal grammar nazi).

It’s bad enough trying to figure out all the red and pink symbols popping up in profile pics all over social media, but even when you figure out the two basics (Marriage Equality represented by an

**equal sign, =**and one man, one woman represented by a**not equal sign ≠**), folks are tinkering around and customizing the symbols.I even saw a marriage equality symbol with rectangle-ish pancakes rather than lines for the equal symbol. I saw another using two silhouetted rifles as the bars on the equal sign. Still, I can dig the customization and tinkering.

It’s when the symbols change so much that they no longer mean the same thing that I don’t think these folks are aware of the actual meanings of the symbols they’re using. I don’t know if it’s the English major in me, the technical writer, or the daughter of a math teacher who’s cringing, but less than accurate use of VERY clear mathematical symbols made me speak up.

Am I speaking up for or against marriage equality? Nope. I’m speaking up for using the most appropriate and accurate symbol when YOU use the visual to voice your support or dissent.

### Is this even a mathematical symbol?

What the heck is this? I think someone mentioned it waving like a flag, but it just looks like a totally different symbol, and frankly, the only double wavy lines I know of like that are water or wave warnings. Hmmm. Maybe considering the topic, it might actually make sense if all the other symbols weren’t based on mathematical symbols like = and ≠.

The double tilde or double wavy lines are just out of place. They don’t have any mathematical equivalent to state your cause with a simple symbol.

A tilde over two equal bars (the symbol for

**congruent**) makes more sense. Mathematically, congruent means that if you rotate, reflect, and/or translate two shapes of the same size, those two shapes or objects are congruent. They match.

The

**tilde symbol**, ~ usually indicates a mathematical meaning of equivalency or similarity between two values. In terms of logic, it is also a similar symbol indicating negation. It’s also a diacritic placed over certain letters in languages (other than English).Ok.

**A single tilde, ~**might make sense. Mathematically, the ~ means**Similar**. Similar is pretty much the same thing as congruent except that one of the shapes or objects has to be resized to match.It all depends on what you’re really trying to say. You have to know the actual symbols to know what and how you’re showing your support.

So what EXACTLY are you trying to support?

Marriage Equality?

One man, one woman?

Congruent?

Similar?

It’s your opinion and your choice. Please just choose an accurate symbol to represent your support or dissent. 🙂