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I tried something like $(\lambda x. x\ x)(\lambda x. x\ x) \text{cannot be \beta-reduced to something else}$. How can I make TeX output a real beta where I want?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I found out how to do it by myself. I just had to encapsulate the \beta into dollar signs again: $(\lambda x. x\ x)(\lambda x. x\ x) \text{cannot be $\beta$-reduced to something else}$

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While your answer is technically correct, I'd say it is basically wrong. The right answer is $(\lambda x. x\ x)(\lambda x. x\ x)$ cannot be $\beta$-reduced …. More generally, \text is very rarely appropriate in inline math. Display math is another story altogether. – Harald Hanche-Olsen Apr 2 '11 at 14:19
In that regard, see this question – Seamus Apr 2 '11 at 15:11
I'm using MathJAX, they only have math mode. – FUZxxl Apr 2 '11 at 20:00
If you are using MathJax with HTML, why not just type the HTML entity? β-reduced produces "β-reduced" – Willie Wong Apr 3 '11 at 0:22
Hm... yes. That would be an option. – FUZxxl Apr 3 '11 at 7:56

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