Talk:Paul Erdős

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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Paul Erdős page.

link to an anecdote Anne Bauval 13:12, 5 July 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think the Kurdish Circle limerick is misquoted[edit]

The article has:

A conjecture thought to be sound
Was that every circle was round
In a paper of Erdős
written in Kurdish
A counterexample is found!

cited to "The Magician of Budapest" by Peter Schumer, in The Edge of the Universe : Celebrating Ten Years of Math Horizons (2007) by Deanna Haunsperger and Stephen Kennedy, p. 110. I checked the cite, which is correct.

However, I think this is a misquote by Haunsperger and Kennedy. It is much easier to find this version of the limerick:

A conjecture both deep and profound
Is whether a circle is round.
In a paper of Erdős
Written in Kurdish
A counterexample is found.

found in Erdős, Paul; Purdy, George (1995). "Chapter 17. Extremal Problems in Combinatorial Geometry". in Graham, Ronald L.. Handbook of combinatorics. 1. MIT Press. p. 811. ISBN 9780262571722. Retrieved on October 12, 2011. , among many other places, and attributed to Leo Moser.

Since this is the version quoted by Erdős himself, I suggest that we remove the Haunsperger and Kennedy version, which I think is incorrect, and replace it with this one. Any objections? Dominus 16:17, 12 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If nobody disagrees, I will replace it soon. Dominus 01:33, 14 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have now added the earlier variant, but retained the later one in the comments below it. ~ Kalki (talk · contributions) 02:54, 14 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The version that I have has "the circle", which makes it more profound than "a circle". The "Written in Kurdish" is in parentheses. Then the other thing that I once read is that once he heard this limerick, Erdős tried to find a Kurdish journal, but was unable to. agb