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A Fight Over Simple Math

Twitter users are going head-to-head about a math equation posted by @pjmdolI. What do you consider to be the correct answer? I came up with one. So did a lot of other folks. But just as many say the answer is 16!

Mashable explains a little further.

The answer lies in the way you go about solving it, and that depends on where in the world you learned math. If you use the PEMDAS method, the order of the equation is Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction. But if you were raised on the BODMAS method, then the order is Brackets, Orders, Division, Multiplication, Addition, Subtraction.

So technically, both are the right answers! Boo, that's no fun.

I may be revealing my age here, but I don't recall ever learning anything about order of operations in math. I learned more math from the movies.


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I too got 16 using pemdas (please excuse my dear aunt Sally) as this is what I learned in high school in the 90's. So they not use this anymore? Am I going to be a total loss for helping my son when he starts bringing home math homework?
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There is a rarely-used rarely-needed rule of precedence in effect here. I am an engineer and former high math person. American, 60. Fear not, I do not design bridges. . . You do the work inside parentheses first, from inside to outside but that doesn't matter in this case. Then, if all that is left is multiplication and division you work from left to right. There are a small number of exceptions that again do not come into effect here. The correct answer is 16. I would think that most normal people would say 1, and would be wrong.
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