I was helping a student through some ACT prep work, focusing on math. We came across a defined function problem that looked somewhat like this:
Let x  y = (x^2)/(y-2). What is 2  6 ?
She asked, "Am I supposed to find ?"
I responded, "No, it tells you what  does. It takes the thing on the right, squares it, and divides it by the thing on the right minus 2 *pointing*."
She was able to work it out from there, but this got me thinking. When we introduce students to grammar, we discuss parts of speech: nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc. When we introduce algebra, we usually only use...