Searches: Logic and Language Theme

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These three were among some of the more amusing ways people have found me through Google in the last couple weeks. For some reason the funny ones have been getting sparser lately. Are all men created equally Well, I suppose we all come into existence in an equal sort of way (ignoring Jesus and Adam and Eve). [I prefer bad grammar that results in really humorous images, but I take what I get handed.] a triangle where the angles add up to 270 Right. Those are the same triangles that have are round and have five angles. barbecue coal. I get this one from time to time (this is at least the third time, but it might be well more than that), and I finally decided to include it in a search roundup. Why is this interesting or funny? See the comments on the post the search took them to.

2 Comments

A triangle can easily have angles that add to 270 degrees if it is a spherical triangle. For example, in a triangle formed by the North Pole and two points on the Equator separated by 90º of longitude, each angle has 90º.

Of course it is much more common to mean "planar triangle" when one just says "triangle", but given the possibility that this search was directed at spherical triangles (in fact, the first result on the search is on them) I don´t see any reason to laugh at it.

I suppose you could call that a triangle, and maybe that's the standard convention in non-Euclidean geometry (I wouldn't know), but it seems to me like when Abraham Lincoln asked how many legs a dog has if you call a tail a leg. The answer, of course, is four. I'm not going to ridicule the person searching if that's the standard usage in non-Euclidean geometry, but I think calling a non-Euclidean enclosed shape with three angles a triangle should count as humorous. That's not really what the word means in English, even if it can mean that in technical jargon. For example, the case you give sounds funny to me, because the triangle formed by those three points goes through the earth and is not on its surface.

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