proof by example
The author gives only the case n = 2 and suggests that it
contains most of the ideas of the general proof.
- proof by intimidation
- proof by vigorous handwaving
Works well in a classroom or seminar setting.
- proof by cumbersome notation
Best done with access to at least four alphabets and special symbols.
- proof by exhaustion
An issue or two of a journal devoted to your proof is useful.
- proof by omission
``The reader may easily supply the details''
``The other 253 cases are analogous''
- proof by obfuscation
A long plotless sequence of true and/or meaningless
syntactically related statements.
- proof by wishful citation
The author cites the negation, converse, or generalization of
a theorem from the literature to support his claims.
- proof by funding
How could three different government agencies be wrong?
- proof by eminent authority
``I saw Karp in the elevator and he said it was probably NP-complete.''
- proof by personal communication
``Eight-dimensional colored cycle stripping is NP-complete
[Karp, personal communication].''
- proof by reduction to the wrong problem
``To see that infinite-dimensional colored cycle stripping is
decidable, we reduce it to the halting problem.''
- proof by reference to inaccessible literature
The author cites a simple corollary of a theorem to be found in a
privately circulated memoir of the Slovenian Philological Society, 1883.
- proof by importance
A large body of useful consequences all follow from the
proposition in question.
- proof by accumulated evidence
Long and diligent search has not revealed a counterexample.
- proof by cosmology
The negation of the proposition is unimaginable or
meaningless. Popular for proofs of the existence of God.
- proof by mutual reference
In reference A, Theorem 5 is said to follow from Theorem 3 in
reference B, which is shown to follow from Corollary 6.2 in
reference C, which is an easy consequence of Theorem 5 in reference A.
- proof by metaproof
A method is given to construct the desired proof. The
correctness of the method is proved by any of these techniques.
- proof by picture
A more convincing form of proof by example. Combines well
with proof by omission.
- proof by assertion
This is correct.
- proof by vehement assertion
It is useful to have some kind of authority relation to the audience.
- proof by ghost reference
Nothing even remotely resembling the cited theorem appears in
the reference given.
- proof by forward reference
Reference is usually to a forthcoming paper of the author,
which is often not as forthcoming as at first.
- proof by semantic shift
Some of the standard but inconvenient definitions are changed
for the statement of the result.
- proof by appeal to intuition
Cloud-shaped drawings frequently help here.
- proof by elimination of the counter-example
- Assume for the moment
that the hypothesis is true. Now let's suppose we find a
counter-example. So what? QED.
- proof by assumption
- ``For the last century no one acquainted with the
facts has disputed...'' an equivalent statement is, ``I did not look up
the actual facts but since most people I know think this way, it follows
that everyone else does too.''
- proof by interruption
Keep interrupting until your opponent gives up.
- proof by misconception
An example of this is the Freshman's Conception of the Limit Process: ``2 equals 3 for large values of 2.'' Once introduced, any conclusion is reachable.
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