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Some Maths and Notation
Some Maths and Notation
4.1 Introduction

Occasionally a question goes around social media such as 1 + 3 + 2 × 0 + 1 + 2 × 2 = ? Many people get the answer wrong. Some mistakenly work from left to right, adding or multiplying as they go. Some pride themselves on spotting a ‘shortcut’ – noticing the zero and wrongly ignoring everything to the left of it on the basis that any number multiplied by zero is zero. Possible answers include 5 and 6. Both are incorrect. The correct answer is 9. If you disagree, see Section 4.3 below.

Maths has rules so that calculations that ought to generate a consistent result do so. It is merely embarrassing to be wrong ...

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