Have you ever seen one of those problems or riddles on the internet that everyone argues over the answer? They are usually something designed specifically to draw people into a trap of incorrect thought, and in that respect, these problems succeed. One such problem has recently created an issue for some people who seem to have forgotten elementary school math. The problem involves nothing more than multiplication and addition, yet grown adults are bickering over the answer as if they never learned how to perform those basic functions.
The problem in question is quite simple. The equation is as follows: 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 11 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 11 + 1 x 0 + 1 = ?. The trap here is that people start from the front of the equation and start adding the numbers until they reach the x 0, which would seemingly imply the entire string of numbers before the x 0 is irrelevant. This causes people to guess that the answer is 1. However, the order of operations tells us that isn’t correct.
The correct way to calculate the sum is to perform the multiplication first. You could make this more obvious by inserting the single multiplication in the equation within parentheses. This would lead to the equation simplifying to 29 + 0 + 1 = 30. Therefore, the answer is 30, not 1. People who have forgotten the order of operations should remember the anagram PEMDAS, which stands for Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction.
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