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Our Daily Bleg: What’s Been Said About Math?

Our resident quote bleggar Fred Shapiro, editor of the Yale Book of Quotations, is back with another request. If you have a bleg of your own — it needn’t have anything to do with quotations — send it along here.

Recently, after a Wall Street Journal article named The Yale Book of Quotations as the second-most-essential reference book for home use, I initiated a discussion about the continuing vitality of print reference books.

Now a newly published volume provides me with a splendid example of how there is still a place for print reference in the world: the Princeton Companion to Mathematics, edited by Fields Medal winner Timothy Gowers and published by Princeton University Press. Because of the close link between economics and mathematics, many readers of the Freakonomics blog may find this book of interest.

The Princeton Companion to Mathematics combines a number of elements that may not be present in Wikipedia or other online sources: entries written by some of the world’s leading mathematicians, prose of real literary distinction, and beautiful design and production. All in all, a must-have reference in mathematical literacy.

For this week’s bleg, I invite suggestions of famous or compelling mathematical quotations.