# What is this weird math letter?

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Occasionally I would read a mathematics paper or book and see a strange calligraphic symbol that I have no idea how to pronounce.

Like here:

Or here:

This is a problem because I, as most other people, struggle to read what I can’t pronounce even when not reading aloud.

When you encounter a symbol like this (which belongs to a family of typefaces called formal scripts), just look it up in the table below, and you’ll know what letter it stands for.

A | \(\mathscr{A}\) | N | \(\mathscr{N}\) |

B | \(\mathscr{B}\) | O | \(\mathscr{O}\) |

C | \(\mathscr{C}\) | P | \(\mathscr{P}\) |

D | \(\mathscr{D}\) | Q | \(\mathscr{Q}\) |

E | \(\mathscr{E}\) | R | \(\mathscr{R}\) |

F | \(\mathscr{F}\) | S | \(\mathscr{S}\) |

G | \(\mathscr{G}\) | T | \(\mathscr{T}\) |

H | \(\mathscr{H}\) | U | \(\mathscr{U}\) |

I | \(\mathscr{I}\) | V | \(\mathscr{V}\) |

J | \(\mathscr{J}\) | W | \(\mathscr{W}\) |

K | \(\mathscr{K}\) | X | \(\mathscr{X}\) |

L | \(\mathscr{L}\) | Y | \(\mathscr{Y}\) |

M | \(\mathscr{M}\) | Z | \(\mathscr{Z}\) |

Alternatively, use the excellent Detexify tool:

The formal script typeface is available in LaTeX using the `\mathscr`

command from the `mathrsfs`

package:

```
\usepackage{mathrsfs}
$\mathscr{Q}$
```