Algebra is the branch of mathematics dealing with the general properties of numbers and for that reason, consists almost entirely of letters.

It can, however, be used to resolve a wide range of everyday problems, including seating plans at weddings, the choice of hymns at Harvest Festival and the correct spelling of ‘yak’ (y+a+k = o+x).

Algebra should not be confused with algaebra, which is a Polynesian undergarment made of seaweed.