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Who Would Have Thunk It...

One day there were nine planets. The next day, there were only eight. Poor Pluto...demoted from planet-status by the rewriting of a single definition.

So what or who is the next victim of a powerful definition? Some options:

  • Maybe 2 will be demoted as a prime number. It is the only even candidate presently, so why complicate things. Just define a prime number to be an odd positive integer (>1) whose only factors are 1 and itself.
  • Maybe 1 will become a prime number, since most students want it to be one anyway. Just define a prime number to be a positive integer divisible only by 1 and itself.
  • Maybe the world can decide what the definition of a trapazoid is. Is it necessary that at least two of the opposing sides be non-parallel? A clever writer of a new definition can solve the problem.
  • Maybe a number can be divided by zero...since 99.99999....% of the world's students already think it can! All we need is a new definition...and then let those who teach higher mathematics figure out how to circumvent the new problems created.
Ah, definitions! Pluto is still number nine in my book...and will remain in that place until someone finds enough money to rewrite the book.