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This Simple Maths Equation Is Dividing The Internet

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This Simple Maths Equation Is Dividing The Internet

Very often social media can provide answers to some of life's most pressing questions. Can you take paracetamol with ibuprofen? Can you reheat chicken?

Other times it can completely divide and stump many people with something as simple as a maths question.

So the question itself might not be that straightforward but it just goes to show that it doesn't take much to get people booting off on Twitter - if you didn't already know that.

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This specific equation was posted by Twitter user @pjmdoll who wrote: "oomfies solve this," alongside the problem: 8 ÷ 2(2 + 2) = ?

The original poster then added: "I do parenthesis, multiplication, then division so I believe it's 1," they then wrote: "I see so apparently division comes first... this is why I didn't do well in math okay."

Responding to the tweet, one person wrote: "[It's] 1. The amount of people saying 16 need to retake math," another agreed: "I have 2 math degrees it's 1." Show off.

Another gave a much more in depth explanation: "8÷2(2x2) = 8÷2(4) = 8÷8 = 1 = Answer is 1. Solved Via "BODMAS" Rule : (B racket) O( f ) D÷ ivision M x ultiplication A+ dditional S-ubtraction."

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Disagreeing with the number ones, another wrote: "You do not need any acronyms to evaluate 8 ÷ 2(2+2), the result is the same whether you do the + first or the ÷ first.

"Just follow these conventions: 1. Do the parenthesis, 2. Do from Left to Right. The correct result is then 4 X 4 = 16. No memorization of acronyms."

Another 16er, commented: "The correct answer is 16. When the problem is at 8/2(4), You have to calculate from left to right because multiplication and division have the same precedence. So 8/2 first and then 4(4)=16. Just remember the left to right rule, which is a rule a lot of people forget."

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According to author and YouTuber Presh Talwalker, the correct answer is actually 16.

He wrote on his blog MindYourDecisions: "According to the order of operations, division and multiplication have the same precedence, so the correct order is to evaluate from left to right. First take 8 and divide it by 2, and then multiply by 2.

"This is without argument the correct answer of how to evaluate this expression according to current usage.

"Some people have a different interpretation. And while it's not the correct answer today, it would have been regarded as the correct answer 100 years ago."

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He went on to explain that 'historically the symbol ÷ was used to mean you should divide by the entire product on the right of the symbol,' which explains why many people got the answer as 1, but added that this is an 'outdated usage'.

Featured Image Credit: NBC

Topics: Maths, Interesting, Community

Rebecca Shepherd
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