Brief: Find an image or object that can be interpreted in at least three different ways by different sets of people.



  1. Greek Letter A –  The symbol is used to represent the first letter in Greek alphabet, while in the numeral system, is often given the value of 1. ∝ (alpha) is said to be derived from Egyptian hieroglyphic for a horned ox’s head. Transliterated into English, the symbol stands for the letter ‘A’. It is pronounced as  æl-fə, as a in father. It is commonly used by historians or Greek linguists.
  2. Alpha Male –  The term ‘alpha male’ involves a level of dominance. The concept is taken from animal hierarchy, where the highest ranking individual is termed as the alpha.
  3. Alpha Particle –  Alpha particles are positively charged particles, a set of two protons and two neutrons bound together. They are used to detect the structure of an atom. It is named after the the Greek letter ∝. Greek letters are used in order to prevent confusion between the letters used in a word and symbol itself. It is generally used by scientists or physicists.
  4. Active Return – ∝ is used to represent the active return in investment, i.e. the percentage of profit as compared to investment and expected profit. It is often used as a benchmark to assess performance. It is often used by marketing managers or finance experts.
  5. Unknown values in Maths –  In mathematics, ∝ is used to represent unknown quantities such as angles. Greek symbols are often found in mathematics as Greek mathematicians often used these symbols in their own calculations and this influenced their use in the modern field of study. It is often used by mathematicians.
  6. First Version – ∝ also often stands for the first version of a software product, that generally doesn’t contain all the features of the final product. The term comes due to the numeric value of alpha, i.e. ‘1’. It is most often used by computer programmers or software developers.


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