### Mathematical Excuses

**For students not to do homework:**

- I accidentally divided by zero and my paper burst into flames.

- I could only get arbitrarily close to my textbook, I couldn't actually reach it.

- I have the proof, but there isn't room to write it in this margin.

- I have a solar-powered calculator, and it was cloudy.

- I locked the paper in my trunk, but a four-dimensional dog got in and ate it.

- I couldn't figure out whether i AM the square root of negative one or i IS the square root of negative one.

**For professors not to give out proof:**

-Proof by omission: "The reader may easily supply the details" or " The other 253 cases are analogous"

-Proof by funding: " How could three different goverment agencies be wrong?

-Proof by deferral: " We'll prove this later in the course"

-Proof by intimidation: " Trivial"

-Proof by seduction: " Convince yourself that this is true"

-Proof by accumulated evidence: " Long and diligent search has not revealed a counterexample"

(Reteln and Dundes)