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The reason for not using the term "mantissa" is that in its popular
use in the context of floating-point representations it is a misnomer.
Technically, a a
mantissa is the fractional part of a logarithm.  The significand of a floating-
point number is not the fractional part of a logarithm (the exponent),
but a fraction by which the base raised to the exponent must be multiplied.