Sign up ×
Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Title says it all. What's more common? Is there one to prefere (maybe due to some norm)?


$\operatorname{\mathfrak{R}} z, \operatorname{\mathfrak{I}} z$

or that:

$\operatorname{Re}z, \operatorname{Im}z$ ?

share|cite|improve this question
It's not "fractal". It's "fraktur". Wikipedia. – kahen Nov 10 '12 at 15:55
This is an opinion question which is hard to answer. My own sense is that the fraktur notation is a bit older and less common nowadays. – Grumpy Parsnip Nov 10 '12 at 15:58
Because of Latex I'm actually here. I was wondering if there's a special reason why Latex defaults \Re and \Im to the Fraktur versions. – Foo Bar Nov 10 '12 at 16:05
I see $\operatorname{Re}z, \operatorname{Im}z$ more often. – moose Oct 29 '13 at 13:43
@GrumpyParsnip It's not an opinion question. Perhaps it's poorly defined what population to consider and how to measure, but after that's it's "just" a matter of measuring the the frequency and tell which is more common. – skyking Sep 25 at 6:46

1 Answer 1

I lean towards readability and I find $\operatorname{Re}z$ and $\operatorname{Im}z$ unambiguously clear.

share|cite|improve this answer
Tastes vary, of course, but not being able to write or even recognize fraktur tends to favor readability. The fact that $\mathfrak{A}$ looks like an $U$, not an $A$, and $\mathfrak{P}$ looks like a $B$, not a $P$, has always slightly annoyed me. – lhf Aug 24 at 11:10
Just becaue you lean one way or another doesn't make it more or less common. – skyking Sep 25 at 6:51

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.