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I was asked the following question:

How do I get get \pitchfork in plain TeX?

He tried \input mssymb and \input amssymb but neither works. More generally, is it possible to get ams symbols to work under plain TeX?

1 Answer 1

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Sure,

\input amssym
$\pitchfork$
\bye

If one doesn't need all of the ~200 new control sequences, but only the additional fonts (ie. \frak for fraktur and \Bbb for blackboard bold), and a few extra symbols (see amsfndoc [PDF], p. 18–19), one can just load the amssym.def. (Note, however, that the \pitchfork symbol is not included in amssym.def.)

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    actually, amssym.tex loads amssym.def, so you need only the one line, \input ammsym. Sep 15, 2011 at 18:28

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