In a publication-quality figure, I'm making a legend for points with values 1,2,3,4 and greater than or equal to 5. Should I denote the last value as



$5 \le$

Are there any guidelines about this?


I don't think there are any guidelines.

I have never seen anything else than "$\geq 5$" and find this much easier to parse than "$5\leq$". This probably is because we read from left to right. Note that you already write in your question

greater than or equal to 5

and not some other construction.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I agree with your recommendation, but I think you can say this positively and directly: There is a simple guideline. Which is easier to read and understand? $\endgroup$ – Nick Cox Jan 9 '18 at 19:46
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    $\begingroup$ I agree as well. But perhaps informally, "5+" would be even easier to understand. $\endgroup$ – user3433489 Jan 9 '18 at 20:31

While > is a binary operator, and therefore can be treated as a function with two parameters, the terminology "greater than" implies that this a predicate on the first number. That is, "A > B" means "being greater than B is a property that A has". This can be analyzed as a curried function: numbers_greater_than(B).includes(A) . This matches how people use comparators: it's more natural to ask for a bucket larger than five gallons than to ask for a bucket that five gallons is smaller than.


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