Saturday, July 23, 2005

Abbott and Costello On Math

I subscribe to an emaillist of "traditional" educators (we believe in teaching real math and phonics), and some of the emails I get from that list are priceless. Both of the following "problems", the first from Abbott and Costello and the second from Gilbert and Sullivan, are variations on standard Algebra 1 problems.

Abbott: You're 40 years old, and you're in love with a little girl, say 10 years old. You're four times as old as that girl. You couldn't marry that girl, could you?

Costello: No.

Abbott: So you wait 5 years. Now the little girl is 15, and you're 45. You're only three times as old as that girl. So you wait 15 years more. Now the little girl is 30, and you're 60. You're only twice as old as that little girl. ?

Costello: She's catching up.

Abbott: Here's the question. How long do you have to wait before you and that little girl are the same age?

Costello: What kind of question is that? That's ridiculous. If I keep waiting for that girl, she'll pass me up. She'll wind up older than I am. Then she'll have to wait for me!

Gilbert and Sullivan wrote:

Ida was a twelve month old
Twenty years ago
I was twice her age I'm told
Twenty years ago
Husband twice as old as wife
Argues ill for married life
Baleful prophecies were rife
Twenty years ago
Still I was a tiny prince
Twenty years ago
She has gained upon me since
Twenty years ago
Now she's twenty-one it's true
I am barely twenty-two
False and foolish prophets you
Twenty years ago

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had a moment in the car the other day...

Kristine: Oh, crap.
Spencer: What?
Kristine: I have to.
Spencer: You have to what?
Kristine: Uhhhhg, craaaap.
Spencer: What!!

It took about 4 runs through before it hit me. I am so ashamed.