Just a quickie in reponse to the comments, for which I am extremely grateful, from A and Eats Wombats on the previous post. I love opportunities to learn new things.

Question : Was the bomdas/bodmas rule developped because of computing?

Please see here.

A quick and extremely unscientific poll revealed that 13/15 poeple met over the past few days give the answer to 7+4×5 as 55. Of the two people who gave 27 as a definite answer, one was a French Maths teacher and the other a computer programmer. For the other 13, most of whom I’d class as reasonably well educated, the answer 27 only came up when shown the calculation 4×5+7. And yes, all 15 now think I’m a bit ‘touched’ for accosting them with slips of paper with sums on!

TTFN

P.S. On a flippant note, to what extent have spreadsheets contributed to the current financial crisis by giving answers not expected by us ‘back of the envelope’ calculators?

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