Let ε < 0.


The mathematical theory of big game hunting II

Filed under: Academic humor, Lion hunting, Urban legends — Travis @

Following the seminal paper by H. Petard in 1938 introducing to the mathematical theory of big game hunting, a good many others were prompted to add to this literature. The following is one of these articles.

A new method of catching a lion

– I. J. Good

In this note a definitive procedure will be provided for catching a lion in a desert (see [1]).

Let Q be the operator that encloses a word in (single) quotation marks. Its square Q2 encloses a word in double quotes. The operator clearly satisfies the law of indices, QmQn = Qm+n. Write down the word lion, without quotation marks. Apply it to the operator Q-1. Then a lion will appear on the page. It is advisable to enclose the page in a cage before applying the operator.


[1] H. Petard. A contribution to the mathematical theory of big game hunting, Amer. Math. Monthly 45 (1938) p446-447.

Amer. Math. Monthly 72 (1965), p. 436.

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