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Re: Subscript[x, y] and the Symbol x

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg33793] Re: Subscript[x, y] and the Symbol x
  • From: Mark Westwood <MarkCWestwood at>
  • Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 03:50:59 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <a93b61$pi2$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


I'm a bit puzzled about what you are trying to achieve.  Are you trying
to define Subscript[x,y] as a new piece of notation - in which case the
documentation on the Notations package is the best place to start.

Are you trying to define a function like: f[a_,b_]:=Subscript[x,y]+a+b
which returns the sum of its arguments and the term Subscript[x,y] ?  If
so, then the nub of the problem is parameter naming and scope and so on. 

Also Mathematica doesn't identify Subscript[x,y] with either x or y and
you can make assignments like Subscript[x,y]=Pi, so the call f[2,2]
would return 4+Pi.

Hope this helps.

Mark Westwood

Curt Fischer wrote:
> Dear Mathgroup:
> The Subscript function in Mathematica has no built-in meaning.  What
> definition can I give this function to allow me to use Subscript[x,y] as
> a "stand-alone" symbol that is completely distinct from the Symbol x or
> the Symbol y?  For example:
> In[1]:=
> \!\(f[x_, y_] := x\_y\  + \ x + y\)
> In[2]:=
> f[2,2]//FullForm
> Out[2]//FullForm=
> Plus[4,Subscript[2,2]]
> This is exactly what I don't want.  Instead I want
> Plus[4,Subscript[x,y]].  Is there a way to do this?
> Thanks for your help.
> --
> Curt Fischer
> Tokyo Institute of Technology
> Dept. of Bioengineering

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