Quandaries
and Queries 

Dear Math Central, Please let me know ASAP, our class is waiting for an answer. Thank you, 

Hi Joshua, Actually, these definitions date from at least two thousand years. In book VII of Euclid's Elements, the following definitions are given: Definition 1 ...Definition
13 Nowadays, we do consider 1, 0, and negatives as "numbers'', but the tradition concerning the definition of "primes'' and "composites'' has been passed on down to us. The everyday langage is also full of expressions that we still use but that made sense in the past. For example, we still say `"you sound like a broken record'' to somebody who always repeats the same thing, but only the older adults have actually heard a ``broken record'' who always repeats the same thing. There is also at least one other instances in Mathematics where we seem to split the numbers into two sets, but one number gets left unaccounted for. I am thinking about positive and negative integers. The positive integers are larger than zero, the negative numbers are less than zero, and zero in niether positive nor negative. Claude and Penny 

