Antoine Lavoiisier...on algebra as a language

Languages are not only intended, as is commonly supposed, to express ideas by images and signs, but also are real analytical systems by which we advance from the known to the unknown, and, to a certain extent, in the manner of mathematicians. Let us try to expound this idea.

Algebra is the analytical method . It has been contrived to facilitate the operations of the understanding, to make reasoning more concise, and to contract into a few lines what would have needed many pages of discussion. In short, to lead by a more convenient, rapid, and unerring method, to the solution of the most complicated questions. But a moment's reflection readily shows us that algebra is a real language. Like all languages it has its representative signs, its methods, its grammar, if I may use this expression. Thus and analytical method is a language, and a language is an analytical method. And these two expressions are, in some sense, synonymous.

-Methode de nomenclature chimique, 1787