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When writing the notational conventions of a paper, do you explain them in present or future tense?

For example, which of the following is preferrable:

In order to not confuse the meta-level equality with the object-level operator, we write a ≙ b for the former.

In order to not confuse the meta-level equality with the object-level operator, we will write a ≙ b for the former.

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The first one is more common. Present tense can also be used to describe a fact or habit. As this notation will sustain inside the article, it's more natural to use present tense.

But I'd rather write this as:

The meta-level equality is denoted as a ≙ b to avoid confusion with the object-level operator.

The original form creates a small visual loop looping back to the "former," removing such loop makes the reading smoother. Also, notation is implied to be done by the writers so mentioning "we write" can appear redundant.

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    Proposed grammatical improvement, roll back if you don't like it. – aparente001 Nov 23 '16 at 22:04
  • @aparente001, no problem. I was struggling between -ion or -ing. This works better. – Penguin_Knight Nov 23 '16 at 22:19
  • I think saying "we write" serves to indicate that this is a particular choice of notation made by the authors, not necessarily standard or widely used. In your example, when you use the impersonal "is denoted", it makes it sound like you are claiming this is what everybody does. – Nate Eldredge Nov 24 '16 at 1:35

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