[Rescued from my old blog.]
I have been reading up on Charlotte Mason’s teaching style, and I plan to incorporate more copywork and dictation into our school program next year. Here are a few of my favorite funny quotes about math. (These would also make great blackboard quotes for a math classroom.)
Arithmetic is neither fish nor beast; therefore it must be foul.
Mathematics: a wonderful science, but it hasn’t yet come up with a way to divide one tricycle among three little boys.
Logic is a systematic method of coming to the wrong conclusion with confidence.
—Anonymous (similar to a comment by Morris Kline)
I pulled these quotations from the book Dictionary of Mathematical Quotations by Donald Spencer. Quotes range from thought-provoking to inane, including an assortment of “anonymous” bumper-sticker or T-shirt quotes not usually included in a quotation book. I do wish Spencer had included documentation with the quotes. Even though I’d probably never look them up, I’d like to know where they came from. Even more, I wish he’d included a more thorough subject index. The quotes are alphabetical by author, but when I wanted references to “algebra” or “history,” the only way to find them all was to read every page. Maybe in the next edition? [Unfortunately, the book seems to be out of print, and the used book stores are scalping customers. Yikes! I can’t believe a $99 price tag for a thin paperback.]
If you’d like to add mathematical copywork to your school repertoire, you might find the following online sources more useful:
Furman University Mathematical Quotations Server
Platonic Realms Math Quotes
The Quotations Page
The Chemistry Coach(site has gone AWOL)