
View Poll Results: 8÷2(2+2)=?  
1  18  40.91%  
16  26  59.09%  
Something else  0  0%  
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll 

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08032019, 02:41 AM  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Georgia

Internet Fight: 8 ÷ 2(2+2)
I've seen lots of arguing about this on Twitter and Facebook. Some people say it's 16. Some people say it's 1. I think the answer is clear. What say you?
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08032019, 02:49 AM  #2 
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I put 16 based on the left to right rule for same level calculations but I feel like I heard recently they no longer teach that rule.
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08032019, 03:52 AM  #3 
Pro Starter
Join Date: May 2006

The answer is clear if you know your PEMDAS. It's not at all clear if you don't .
So yeah, 16. 
08032019, 03:56 AM  #4 
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Newbury, England

I voted 1, but then changed my mind  16!
I was always taught do the brackets first, then do the sum. I can see how people get to 1 as I did  there’s a temptation to do the 2x bit first as well as it’s next to the brackets, but I realised that was my mistake.
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08032019, 05:18 AM  #5  
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Concord, MA/UMass

Quote:
8 ÷ 2(4) feels like 1 8÷2(4) feels like 16 8÷2 (4) definitely feels like 16 

08032019, 07:19 AM  #6 
College Benchwarmer
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Louisville, KY

I went with one initially.
It seems like 2(2+2) should all be in the denominator based on the lack of an "x" used for a multiplication sign. However, it's not written as (2(2+2)) so technically the correct answer is 16 I think based on order or operations and the left to right rule but the equation is written in a really awkward way. 
08032019, 07:27 AM  #7 
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08032019, 10:24 AM  #8 
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2/3
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08032019, 10:26 AM  #9 
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I'll postulate this:
8 / 2x = ? x=2+2 how do you see that compared to: 8 / 2 * x x=2+2
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08032019, 11:28 AM  #10 
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Join Date: Sep 2006

I don't know how they teach math now, but computers process formulas with PEMDAS using the lefttoright rule with multiplication/division being on the same level, and addition/subtraction being on the same level. So, rewritten it's 8/2*(2+2). Parens first, so that's 4. Division next because it's the leftmost, so that's also 4. And unless math has changed, 4 X 4 is 16.
Put the formula into Excel and see what you get. If you don't understand that the answer is 16 then do you trust your bank or investment firm? 
08032019, 01:17 PM  #11 
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08032019, 01:36 PM  #12 
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08032019, 04:07 PM  #13 
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It seems weird that a math result would depend on going left to right. Shouldn't math transcend things like physical page placement?
Note, I don't understand math. 
08032019, 05:27 PM  #14 
Pro Starter
Join Date: May 2006

I understand why it seems weird, but consider this:
8 x 4 x 2. I think it's because of situations like this that there needs to be some kind of rule, the fact that it's possible to arrange terms such that there is no transcending distinction. 
08032019, 07:35 PM  #15 
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08032019, 09:55 PM  #16 
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Solve for x:
8 / 2x = 16 Then solve for x: 8 / 2x = 1 It's all perspective.
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08042019, 07:11 PM  #18 
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Maassluis, Netherlands

Same here. I would never write it down like that, 8:2x(2+2) or 8/2•(2+2) is less confusing to me, in particular that ÷ thingy.
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08042019, 09:18 PM  #19 
College Starter
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Midwest

PEMDAS makes it 16. Order is always left to right, with multiplication and division done in the same left to right sweep. 2+2 is first (P) then the 8 divided by 2 followed by the times 4.

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