xvi Translator’s Note
items in a mathematical expression are grouped is explained by anal-
ogy to natural language? A Handelsschule is a business school, and
so a adchenhandelsschule is a business school for girls. Unless, that
is, one misreads it as (M¨ adchenhandels)schule, in which case one has
something along the lines of a school for trading in girls. The Ger-
man language is not associative! Neither is the English language, and
I sought to come up with equivalent expressions. Lest the reader en-
tertain any doubt, the discussion of the 1958 hit song “Flying Purple
People Eater” in Chapter 20 of this volume does not appear in the
German
original.1
No man is an island, and my work benefited from the collabora-
tion of a number of people, whom I would like to thank here. Every-
one at the American Mathematical Society with whom I worked was
unstintingly helpful and friendly. I would like to thank Ed Dunne,
who invited me to undertake this project, and Cristin Zanella, who
kept me in the loop and answered all my queries. Thanks also to
Barbara Beeton for her friendly and intelligent TEXnical support and
to Arlene O’Sean for her careful copyediting.
I owe special thanks to two individuals who read the translation
as it was being produced. One of them, Professor Ehrhard Behrends,
is of course the author of these articles, and his careful reading made
it possible for me to correct a number of typographical errors and
clarify some fuzzy points.
My second reader was Christina Kramer, one of my several sis-
ters, who as a professor not of mathematics but of Slavic linguistics
brought to the book the analytical skills of the linguist and the intel-
ligence of the “educated reader” along with the innocent eye of the
mathematical neophyte. She regrets that she is perhaps one of those
for whom Chapter 31, “I Hate Mathematics Because. . . ,” was writ-
ten. Christina called my attention to a number of linguistic anomalies
and corrected quite a few typographical errors. She also pointed out
several places where an additional phrase or sentence could rescue the
reader with a background similar to hers from total befuddlement.
1Is
it a (purple people) eater or a purple (people eater)?
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