15 March 2011

Miscommunication - Pi Day Edition

Pi Day - The day when math teachers
attempt to reconcile Americans' love of
pie with their hatred of math.
For those who didn't realize, yesterday was Pi Day, so called because it was March 14, or 3.14 - the first three digits of pi.  I tried to explain this to one of my teachers and I failed for the following revealing reasons:

1. Austrians, and Europeans in general, write dates "backwards" (to Americans).  Thus yesterday was 14.3 and not 3.14.
2. Austrians don't really ever think about pie.  They're proud of their cakes and would probably never be caught dead with a slice of Mrs. Smith's PreBaked Dutch Apple Crumb Pie, even though Apfelstrudel is more or less the same thing.
3. Even if you met an Austrian who, despite all odds, loved both pie and geometry, he wouldn't even get the pun, as pi is not even pronounced the same way in German.  It's pronounced like "pee" and somehow "Pee Day" is just not as appealing.
4. Austrians, to generalize, just don't understand puns.  It's why Austrian crosswords are so inferior and about 20% as difficult.

And in honor of Pi Day, today's word is unendlich, which means, predictably, "infinite."

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