Originally Posted by MoodyBlues
But, as I see it, there is no ambiguity. There's only PERCEIVED ambiguity by people who don't understand how math problems are supposed to be solved!
What's the effective difference between ambiguity and perceived ambiguity? Either way, people are needlessly confused.
I took one look at this expression and knew that the correct answer was 9, but I also saw how it was intentionally written to be tricky. That's why I posted the XKCD comic on the previous page. People complain that math is obtuse. I think those people are wrong (I have a computer science degree with a math minor), but things like this certainly don't help our cause.
One extra set of parentheses around the 6/2 eliminates most of the ambiguity displayed here (even though the ambiguity results from a flawed understanding of the order of operations) at the cost of being a little bit redundant. I think that's a reasonable trade.