And This is Why Writers Have a Problem With Math!

You see? This is why most writers have an issue with math.

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One of the things about writing and rules is we know the stuff is gonna change. It changes from day-to-day, country-to-country (even in the same language, I’m looking at you, English!), it’s different according to media platforms, style guides, your mood, etc. But math? Math should be the one constant that has hard rules that no one can break. NO ONE!

So, WTF is happening in the world?

If you haven’t seen it, there’s a viral math problem that has the world divided. When I first saw it—with the catchphrase: Can You Solve This?—I felt smart immediately because for once I didn’t scratch my head for too long before remembering how to attack this bad boy.

I had my answer in less than a minute, and I’ll tell you what: I stand by it.

And if you think I’m wrong, well . . . half the world stands with me. Or I stand with them, whatever . . . as a writer, I can switch things up whenever I feel like it. Unlike math. You can NOT do whatever you want, whenever you want with math. Those rules should never change.

Before we go on, my answer is “1,” and you won’t change my mind, because that’s how I was taught.

Math problem:

What is 6÷2(1+2) = ?


= 6÷6

= 1

But apparently, this is now “outdated usage” and is considered "historical." Did I ask the question: WTF?

This is the “correct” answer:


= 3×3

= 9

I get it. I understand the new rule: anything that is division or multiplication should be solved in order from left to right & follow PEMDAS/BODMAS (Parentheses/Brackets, then Exponents/Orders, then Multiplication-Division, and finally evaluate Addition-Subtraction). I was taught (in this case) to divide the left by the ENTIRE product of the right. What I don’t understand is why they changed the rules. Because, you know, WTF.

Here’s a video link, in case you want more details. And I know they say my rule is from 1917, but I was taught this way in early 2000’s, so . . . yeah, that’s a lie!

I don't know about you, but I'm a writer and I’m going to just stick with words. I like words.

What is your answer???

Are you on my side or are you wrong? :P

By S. Katherine Anthony

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S.K. Anthony (Shanny) is a writer, a reader, and make-stuff-up-er who lives in New York. She is an award-winning author and a bestseller on Amazon. When she isn’t busy with her toddler twins, S.K. finds herself being transported into the world of imagination. Well, either that or running away from spiders . . . she is convinced they are out to get her!