(Section 1.11: Limits and Derivatives in Calculus) 1.11.16 FOOTNOTES1.Etymology. The word “secant” comes from the Latin “secare” (to cut). The word “tangent” comes from the Latin “tangere” (to touch). A secant line to the graph offmust intersect it in at least two points. A tangent line only need intersect the graph in one point; the tangent line might “just touch” the graph at that point (though there could be other intersection points). 2.Difference quotients with negative denominators.Our forms of difference quotients allow negative denominators, as well. They still represent slopes of secant lines.
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