1 : a symbol written above and to the right of a mathematical expression to indicate the operation of raising to a power
2 a : one that expounds or interprets b : one that champions, practices, or exemplifies
this is a word whose first definition came so early in my life that it will always prevail over the second, more practical meaning. EXPONENT will always be a mathematical word to me; trying to describe someone as an EXPONENT creates a lovely little image in my head of that person floating to the right above a given number.
the same goes for the word denominator, which i tried to use a couple times this week in talking about similarities within myself across three different events. it sounded good as i was saying it, but in my head all that was flashing was MATH MATH MATH!
i suppose there is no way to really separate these words from their initial impressions. there is so much more math in our everyday lives than we acknowledge: positive, negative, rational, radical, parallel, mutually exclusive, average, discreet, normal, simple, trivial, the list goes on.
i suppose this idea can be related to a sort of da vinci-esque understanding of math in nature, but i don't have time for a digression of such epic proportions today.
get it? proportions? yeah.