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Re: tag Times protected??

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg13451] Re: [mg13419] tag Times protected??
  • From: Carl Woll <carlw at>
  • Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 01:45:37 -0400
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Hi Jordan,

I can't reproduce the behavior with the example you provide, although I
have also occasionally had similar things happen to me. As an aid to
figuring out your problem, could you post the expression which
Mathematica is interpreting when this behavior occurs. That is, put the
cursor in the cell which has a problem, and then select

Format | Show Expression

from the menu and post the resulting expression. Invisible characters or
Interpretation Boxes will then show, and these may explain what's going

Carl Woll
Dept of Physics
U of Washington

On Thu, 23 Jul 1998, Jordan Milev wrote:

> I am writing with an annoying behavior in Mathematica, which I hope has
> a logical explanation.  I have found that sometimes when I write two
> consecutive lines which display output, I get the message "tag Times
> protected"
> Say I write:
> pe[j] = pate[[1]]
> ph[j] = path[[1]]
> peh[j] = pateh[[1]]
> where pate, path, and pateh are lists.  So this is merely an assignment
> exercise, but Mathematica somehow thinks that I've written instead:
> pe[j] = pate[[1]]ph[j] = path[[1]]peh[j] = pateh[[1]]
> i.e. I'm trying to multiply the three.  Of course, this is an error, so
> Mathematica gives a warning message.  But, if I write the same
> expression as:
> pe[j] = pate[[1]];
> ph[j] = path[[1]];
> peh[j] = pateh[[1]];
> the problem disappears, and Mathematica doesn't want to multiply the
> three.
> Does anyone know why this is happening, or more importantly, how to
> prevent this behavior?  I'd appreciate any help.
> Jordan

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