Math is "contemptible and vile."
That's not from a disgruntled student. It's from a textbook.
The author, 16th century mathematician Robert Recorde, nestled the line just after his preface, table of contents and a biblical quote citing God's command to measure and number all things.
Recorde didn't believe in math's awfulness — quite the opposite. He was simply reflecting popular opinion on his way to a spirited defense of math. Why?