In Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark, the Butcher wanted to convince the Beaver that two plus one is equal to three, and he did it the “easy” way:
Taking Three as the subject to reason about —
A convenient number to state —
We add Seven, and Ten, and then multiply out
By One Thousand diminished by Eight.
The result we proceed to divide, as you see,
By Nine Hundred and Ninety and Two:
Then subtract Seventeen, and the answer must be
Exactly and perfectly true.
As this was written by Lewis Carroll, the math checks out:
In case you didn’t notice, it doesn’t matter whichever number you start with. The answer would be the same as the initial number (in the Butcher’s case, the number was 3). This will be more apparent when the above equation is written as an algebraic equation:
This can be simplified into:
The two 992’s cancels out each other. Thus,