Date: 2 Feb 1994 01:21:48 GMT
Proof by cumbersome notation:
Best done with access to at least four alphabets and special symbols.
Proof by exhaustion:
An issue or two of a journal devoted to your proof is sufficient.
Proof by ommission:
` The reader may easily supply the details.'
` The other 253 cases are analogous. '
' ... '
Proof by obfuscation:
A long plotless sequence of true and/or meaningless syntactically related
statements.
Proof by wishful citation:
The author cites the negation, converse, or generalization of a theorem from
the literature to support his claims.
Proof by funding:
How could three different government agencies be wrong??
Proof by eminent authority:
` I saw Karp in the elevator and he said that it was probably NP-Complete.'
Proof by personal communication:
`Eight-dimensional colored cyle stripping is NP-Complete`
[Karp personal communication.]
Proof by reduction to the wrong problem:
`To see that infinite-dimensional colored cycle stripping is decidable, we
reduce it to the halting problem.'
Proof by reference to inaccessible literature:
The author cites a simple corollary of a theorem to be found in a privately
circulated memoir of the Slovenian Philological society, 1883.
Proof by importance:
A large body of useful consequences all follow from the proposition in
question.
Proof by accumulated evidence:
Long and diligent search has not revealed a counterexample.
Proof by cosmology:
The negation of the proposition is unimaginable or meaningless. Popular for
proofs of the existence of god.
Proof by mutual reference:
In reference A, theorem 5 is said to follow from theorem 3 in reference b,
which is shown to follow from corollary 6.2 in reference C, which is an easy
consequence of theorem 5 in reference A.
Proof by metaproof:
A method is given to construct the desired proof. The correctness of the
method is proved by any of these techniques.
Proof by picture:
A more convincing form of proof by example. Combines well with proof by
omission.
Proof by vehement assertion:
It is useful to have some kind of authority relation to the audience.
Proof by ghost reference:
Nothing even remotely resembling the cited theorem appears in the reference
given.
Proof by forward reference:
Reference is usually to a forthcoming paper of the author, which is often not
as forthcoming as the first.
Proof by semantic shift:
Some standard but inconvenient definitions are changed for the statement of
the result.
Proof by appeal to intuition:
Cloud-shaped drawings frequently help here.
Subject: [humor] HOW (not) TO PROVE IT
Date: 24 Oct 2001 23:48:28 -0400
proof by example:
The author gives only the case n = 2 and suggests that it
contains most of the ideas of the general proof.
proof by intimidation:
'Trivial'.
proof by vigorous handwaving:
Works well in a classroom or seminar setting.