I have been researching the work of Lewis Carroll, and just now found a remarkable piece of Carroll’s wit in Robin Wilson’s book* Lewis Carroll in Numberland* (2008). Carroll, a professor of mathematics and logic at Oxford, was very familiar with Euclid’s *Elements*, the classic Greek text on geometry which was used to sharpen the minds of students in Victorian England.

Euclid’s first three postulates are:

*1) Let it be granted, that a line may be drawn from any point to any other point.*

*2) That a line may be lengthened to any extent.*

*3) That a circle may be drawn about any point, and at any distance from that point.*

Carroll, mocking the politics of parliamentary elections, produced these three:

*1) Let it be granted, that a speaker may digress from any point to any other point.*

*2) That a finite argument may be lengthened to any extent.*

*3) That a controversy may be raised about any question, and at any distance from that question.*

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