This Math Problem Is Dividing The Internet. What’s The Right Answer? – HuffPost Canada

This Math Problem Is Dividing The Internet. What’s The Right Answer? – HuffPost Canada

The greatest debate of our era is currently raging online. No it’s not whether the world actually needs meatless eggs. No, it’s not the newly announced federal leaders’ debate that HuffPost Canada is a part of (though we’re pretty excited!). And it’s not whatever U.S. Democratic candidate Marianne Williamson got up to at Tuesday night’s debate.

It’s about how to do math.

This Twitter post, featuring a screencap from a cartoon with a math problem is the latest drama to divide the world. 

And the people are truly divided.

be smart

— jess (@neworIean) July 30, 2019

Even Queer Eye’s resident home renovator (and probably the guy who knows the most about math) Bobby Berk got into the debate.

It’s 16 y’all.

— Bobby Berk (@bobbyberk) July 31, 2019

And the Google Calculator also seems to think it’s 16…

This is why I fear for YOUR future

— J (@Original_Jake) July 31, 2019

But this calculator thinks it’s 1. 

Get outta here with the Google calculator. I fear for your future 🤣🤣🤣 Any scientific calculator is obv better with BIDMAS

— specerful (@Specerful) July 31, 2019

Here’s the thing — there are probably multiple right answers here. 

i think it’s 1 if you use distributive property

a(b+c) = ab+ac

in this case,

2(2+2) = 2*2+2*2

so 8/8


but it’s 16 of you do what’s inside the parenthesis then do order of operations from left to right (bedmas where im from)

8/2 (4)



so maybe it’s ambiguous? idek-

— -rae (@bigbrxthr) July 31, 2019

It’s also probably a regional thing. Those who followed a BEDMAS (often also known as BODMAS) tended to get 16 and those using PEMDAS got one.

BEDMAS stands for Brackets, Exponents, Division, Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction. 

PEMDAS stands for Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction.

Both acronyms refer to systems of prioritizing mathematical elements when calculating an equation.

A quick poll of the mostly schooled-in-Canada HuffPost Canada office shows that we are staunch defenders of BEDMAS. We also mostly got 1 as our answer. Whereas a quick Google search seems to show PEMDAS as the order of operations of

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