Is this a reference to a deleted comment?
Actually yes, clever guess... On another thread there was a lengthy debate about the tolerability of state schools. Many of us agreed to some extent that the atmosphere at (certain) state schools is demoralizing, and even if they offered good physics, we may not want to put up with the environment for 6 years.
I included a little story about a college science major who was taking one of the ~40 sections of "college algebra" my school offers, which is the same algebra intended for middle school. A student making me do review questions for the final exam had to do a quadratic formula problem but couldn't get the right answer(s) because he couldn't simplify the sqrt(1) in the numerator. Physicsdude took that as an obscene elitist remark. Apparently he had no problem with your post where you were slightly irked grading papers that had too many mistakes in differentiating polynomials. Shame on you
I doubt physicsdude's school even offers petty arithmetic courses...
BTW, "the square root of 1" should be plural... there's more than one of them...
The convention I learned is that the square root of K is defined as the positive solution to the equation X^2 = K... and then that's why solutions to equations often are written like: 5 +/- sqrt(7)
We want all functions, log(x), sqrt(x), arcsin(x) to be "functions" by the defnition that each x yields a unique answer. That's why the arc-trig functions have a restricted domain...
arcsin(x) is not the same as {y: x = sin(y) }, by the real definition.
Whenever you see a length written as a square root (such as the diagonal of a rectangle) you see sqrt(z) not abs(sqrt(z)) right?