Talk:trapezium

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UK usage[edit]

The UK (and several other English-speaking countries) use the word trapezium to mean the quadrilateral with one pair of opposite sides parallel. This shape is called a trapezoid in North America. The word trapezoid is rare in UK mathematics, but in general British use it is a synonym for the same quadrilateral with one pair of opposite sides parallel, or sometimes a 3-D shape having some faces with the same properties, such as a prism with trapezoidal cross-section, or a frustrum of a right square-based pyramid. Only France seems to have a usage exactly opposite to the US usage. German websites writing in English and using the word trapezoid have the US & modern British meaning. I am compiling a list of modern usage and categorising citations to further clarify the myth which seems to be common in US websites and old US dictionaries that UK usage is the exact opposite of US meanings for the words trapezoid and trapezium, when in fact they seem to have been synonyms in the UK and Australia for at least the last hundred years. I would be interested in modern usage (but not definitions from ancient dictionaries) from other English-speaking areas. Dbfirs 13:16, 23 January 2008 (UTC)