Pentagon Flower and Polygonal Jokes

May 12, 2011 at 2:02 pm 2 comments

Frisbee golf is a sport enjoyed by many mathy folks. Almost certainly, this is a result of the physics that surround the flight of the disk.

When a ball dreams, it dreams it’s a Frisbee.
         — Stancil Johnson

I love Frisbee golf, because I can make the Frisbee bend and curve around trees in a way that I’m not able to do with a real golf ball. But I also love it because Frisbee golf courses are typically located in beautiful natural settings, like my home course at Bluemont Park in Arlington, VA, which meanders through an urban park with trees, flowers, and a creek.

While playing a round with my sons yesterday, I encountered some flowers with five‑fold rotational symmetry. Taken by the perfect pentagonal shape in the middle of the flower, I snapped a pic to share with you:

Pentagon Flower

Speaking of closed plane figures bounded by straight sides, here are pieces of some recently overheard conversations at the Icosagon Cafe:

  • “He’s degenerate, but I say, ‘Let digons be digons!'”
  • “I don’t have the energy for another attempt. Trigon.”
  • “That hot chick walked away. Pentagon.” (Warning: OFFENSIVE; see definition 2 of pent in the Urban Dictionary. )
  • “I took an antidote for the wizard’s curse. Hexagon.”
  • “I just looked at the calendar. Septagon. Octagon. Nov is here!”
  • “Nonagon. They’re all here!”
  • “Someone stole my pack of cards. Decagon.”
  • “My parrot just died. Polygon.”

Just outside the cafe, a hendecagon was walking by…


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Avoid, On the Whole, Mathematicians Husband of the Year

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joshua Zucker  |  May 12, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    I think it should be a bigon. You might prefer to call them digons, but I say let bigons be bigons.

    Also if you like hendecagon then you’re probably stuck calling it an enneagon instead of a nonagon, so I think one or the other of those puns has to go. If you like Latin, you get nonagon and undecagon, or in Greek you get enneagon and hendecagon.

    Interestingly my spell checker seems to like undecagon and hendecagon and nonagon but not enneagon. So I think I’ll teach it this word.

    And then there’s of course. Any other songs you know along these lines?

  • 2. venneblock  |  May 13, 2011 at 7:50 am

    If you want derivative language consistency, and since most words in the list are Greek, then I think you have to use digon instead of bigon.

    That said, I’m not sure such consistency is required or desired. For instance, when I say, “I enjoy mathematics,” I’m employing words derived from German (ich), French (enjoier), and Latin (verbum), and no one bats an eye at that. Isn’t that the nature of speaking a language that borrows so much from other languages?

    As for whether or not consistency is needed in a list of polygons, I’ll rely on Wolfram. Their list shows nonagon (Latin) and hendecagon (Greek) as the primary forms, with enneagon (Greek) and undecagon (Latin) listed parenthetically. See If EWW can mix Latin and Greek, then gosh darn it, so can I!


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About MJ4MF

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

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