# Talk:One Equals Minus One

I'm a bit confused by explanation 1. The symbol $\sqrt \cdot$ means the principal square root only, doesn't it? Or is that the whole point, that the paradox arises from not giving the symbol a consistent meaning? --GFauxPas 14:35, 30 November 2011 (CST)
I had the misfortune of attending a mathematics class where $\sqrt \cdot$ was interpreted as only ever being the positive square root. I pointed out that in fact there was positive and negative (everybody knows that) and the teacher told me to shut up because I was confusing my co-students, and loudly and emphatically declaimed that $\sqrt \cdot$ only ever means the positive square root. (It was an elementary course which I had to attend in order to get my units for my degree.)