Mathematics, as a science commenced when first someone, probably a Greek, proved propositions about any things or about some things, without specification of definite particular things. … Perhaps it required the introduction of the arabic numerals, by which the use of letters as standing for definite numbers has been completely discarded in mathematics, in order to suggest to mathematicians the technical convenience of the use of letters for the ideas of any number and some number.

… the enormous importance of good notation. By relieving the brain of all unnecessary work, a good notation sets it free to concentrate on more advanced problems, and in effect increases the mental power of the race. (39)