# Definition:Anomalous Cancellation/Historical Note

## Historical Note on Anomalous Cancellation

The phenomenon of anomalous cancellation appears frequently in volumes and articles on recreational mathematics.

A popular technique is to introduce it as an amusingly incorrect piece of classroom work by a particularly shiftless pupil with an entertainingly alliterative cognomen, for example "Irving the idiot", or "Dennis the dunce" as used by David Wells in his $1986$ work Curious and Interesting Numbers.