6 = 2 x 3. And 6 = 1 + 2 + 3. But 6 also equals 3!. That is, 6 = 3 x 2 x 1, or factorial three. If you have three different items, you can arrange them in six different ways. There are three posibilities for the first item, two for the second and one for the third.

You can illustrate this linguistically. All languages are governed by mathematics, but maths manifests itself in different ways. Emphasis is an important part of language, for example, but there are different ways to achieve it. English usually does it with stress or by adding an emphatic word. Other languages can do it by varying the order of words. Latin, for example:

*Mathematica Magistra Mundi*

— Mathematics is Mistress of the World.
*Mathematica Mundi Magistra*

— Mathematics of the World is Mistress.
*Magistra Mathematica Mundi*

— Mistress is Mathematics of the World
*Magistra Mundi Mathematica*

— Mistress of the World is Mathematics.
*Mundi Mathematica Magistra*

— Of the World Mathematics is Mistress.
*Mundi Magistra Mathematica*

— Of the World the Mistress is Mathematics.

Elsewhere other-posted:

• Mathematica Magistra Mundi — more on the motto

• Moto-Motto — a variant on the motto

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