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Page:Carroll - Notes by an Oxford Chiel.djvu/23

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gular axes, and divided into two unequal parts—a process of arbitrary elimination which is now considered not strictly legitimate.

It was proposed, therefore, to eliminate J by an appeal to the principle known as 'the permanence of equivalent formularies:' this, however, failed on application, as J became indeterminate. Some advocates of the process would have preferred that J should be eliminated 'in toto.' The classical scholar need hardly be reminded that 'toto' is the ablative of 'tumtum,' and that this beautiful and expressive phrase embodied the wish that J should be eliminated by a compulsory religious examination.

It was next proposed to eliminate J by means of a 'canonisant.' The chief objection to this process was, that it would raise J to an inconveniently high power, and would after all only give an irrational value for π.

Other processes, which we need not here describe, have been suggested for the evaluation of π. One was, that it should be treated as a given quantity: this theory was supported by many eminent men, at Cambridge and elsewhere;