The signs for the operations picture the combining and separating actions they represent. Those for addition (+) and multiplication (x) are both made of what look like crossed sticks to show combining, and the multiplication sign looks like it is rolling to suggest fast addition (like 5x7 instead of 7+7+7+7+7). Those for subtraction (–) and division (÷) are both made with a slash like a knife would make in cutting (separating) something, and the slash for the division sign has dots on either side of it to suggest cutting carefully or “neatly into equal portions. Clearly, the signs were designed to prompt the meaning of the operations and were not meant to be as abstract as they have become.