tgentry wrote:The numbers themselves are pretty meaningless as far as message goes and seem to fit with my statement in the pre-derby thread about text on a chalkboard. We don't want to outlaw formulas and such on a chalkboard if they're needed to, as an example, place the scene at a math class. A design might actually rely on that text to give it some context. A guy doing math at a chalkboard doesn't make sense unless there's actual math on the chalkboard. As long as that text isn't providing a message beyond providing some context, we're not worried about it. The numbers here are in that category.
The single thing that did give us pause and took a lot of consideration was the long division symbol, which actually is supplying quite a bit of the message to the design beyond just random math on a chalkboard providing context. Is it or isn't it incidental text? If we use the usual yardstick for "what constitutes text" questions in the derby, it's not even text at all as it doesn't appear on our keyboard. That's basically the tipping point in favor of leaving it in. If it were something as simple as a % instead of the long division symbol it might be a different story, but even then it might still fit under context over message.
Given the pre-derby allowance of generic formulas and such that might be required for context, the fact that the one thing that goes beyond that is arguably not considered text by our usual standards, and the general feeling on our end that we're not looking at a slogan or speech bubble joke we're allowing it. Hope this helps explain our reasoning and stem some of the flame war that will inevitably occur for the next week.
Personally, I think the division symbol should be considered text. It is a written symbol with the same meaning as another written symbol that *would* get banned. Math itself is a language, & the long division symbol is a visual representation of that language. Saying that it's fine because it isn't on the keyboard is rather silly given that it's pretty easy to make one using the keyboard. Case in point:
7 | 35
The symbol is as essential to the meaning of the shirt as the QWERTY keyboard was to the "Modern Alphabet" submission. Ergo, non-incidental.