Thursday, February 11, 2016

Order ... There Must Be Order

I saw this this morning:

I did the quick calculation in my head and got the answer right away.

Then, I went down Frustration Lane ... better known as the "comments" section of the posting. 

And I let out a trio of sighs and committed a several discouraging head shakes in the first 10 seconds.

Did no one learn the mathematical Order of Operations in school?

It's not rocket science: Parenthesis, multiplication and division, addition and subtraction.

(There's more, of course, but the equation contains no fractions. Besides, the above OoO is probably confusing enough to a huge gaggle of the public as it is. No sense mucking things up any further than need be.)


Look: I realize everyone has their bents and likes and proclivities just as well as they have things they'd rather steer clear of. But (at least to me) if you attended school the OoO was one of the simplest, most basic concepts taught in mathematics. 

I remember Mr. Harland's response in math class every time it was brought up: 

"Mr. Harland? That's one confusing problem ... "

"No, it isn't. Just follow the Order of Operations and each and every one of you will come up with the correct answer."

But I understand if you don't remember. Or if you didn't pay attention. Or if you simply didn't show up that day during the lesson.

It's just one of those flabbergasting moments for me when I see all sorts of answers to simple math problems as the above, all wrong and all of which should be correct when the OoO is plainly (and properly) employed.

Understand: I'm no math wiz. I make some of the same mistakes everyone else makes in mathematics. It's not my area of expertise and I'm not a Brainiac in that department ... far from it. In no way, shape or form am I superior to anyone reading this when it comes to the above problem ...

... unless you call the common sensical application of the OoO "superior" ...

On the flip side (and to show I'm grounded and clearly susceptible to those "Duh" life moments), to the point of relative recency, I didn't know the proper use of a bathroom exhaust fan.

So, there's that ... 

.......... Ruprecht ( STOP )

P.S. Even if you don't know or don't remember the Order of Operations, using the formula everyone reading this should come up with the correct answer to the equation ... which is "35" ...

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