Namely, the following one

"All problems appeared once in the [American Mathematical] Monthly."

I remember reading it several years ago... When I first posed the question, I believed that I had read it somewhere in Krantz' Mathematical Apocrypha but according to Carlo Beenakker the quote is nowhere to be found in the said recollection of stories and anecdotes of Krantz. I gather that Erdős might have expressed it in relation with the history of what is nowadays known as the Sylvester-Gallai theorem but it'd be perfectly possible for me to be wrong in this respect too.

I thank you in advance for your replies.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ FWIW, you can search the book on Google Book here and here. The keyword "Monthly" didn't give me anything remotely similar to the quote though. $\endgroup$ Oct 21, 2013 at 21:06
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ it's not in Krantz. $\endgroup$ Oct 21, 2013 at 21:29
  • 11
    $\begingroup$ Maybe you read it here: mathoverflow.net/questions/26318/points-on-a-sphere Oh, wait a second.... $\endgroup$ Oct 21, 2013 at 22:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Gerry Myerson: Obviously not. Anyway, that must give you an idea of how long I have been trying to remember where I first read this thingy. $\endgroup$ Oct 23, 2013 at 19:06
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ It would be odd for Erdos to have said this in connection with Sylvester-Gallai, as Erdos published that as a problem in the Monthly, not knowing that Sylvester had published it elsewhere decades earlier. It would have made more sense for him to say, all problems in the Monthly once appeared somewhere else. $\endgroup$ Oct 25, 2013 at 10:26

1 Answer 1


In Index to Mathematical Problems, 1980-1984 - Page xi by Stanley Rabinowitz this quote is attributed to Léo Sauvé:

Léo Sauvé, former editor of Crux Mathematicorum, an international problems journal, once quipped that it seemed like all problems "had once been published in the Monthly"

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I like what I read! Last time I edited my question, I thought it would help a lot if I mentioned some other texts which might contain information leading to the whereabouts of the quote in question. Curiously enough, I had intended to include Stan Rabinowitz's Index as one of the top entries in that list... $\endgroup$ Oct 25, 2013 at 16:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.