Turn on thread page Beta

    (Original post by Good bloke)
    If you properly understand the rules, and they are taught in all British schools, there is no ambiguity in the OP's question at all - there is no room for debate. We are talking about maths, for heaven's sake.
    I'm a human, though, not a parser. If I have doubts about what the author wanted to write, regardless of what he did write, then there is ambiguity. Something is not necessarily clear because it can be parsed. For example, if somebody writes n*2003%10^6==555555? then I am (a) having to work hard to understand wtf the line means, with the author hoping I can work out what is going on correctly, and (b) I have to hope the author is correct! This is an extreme example, but if it's not going to be absolutely clear to the appropriate reader what you mean then common sense says that you should parenthesize. For this thread's question, it is not absolutely clear what the writer means by -5^2, and therefore we can say that while it strictly parses in a certain way, the expression is ambiguous.

    There is a difference between resolving ambiguity and making things easy for those that don't understand. There is no ambiguity in this case.

    (Original post by A Stranger in Moscow)
    How? That was an excellent response.
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
Updated: November 10, 2008


students online now


Exam discussions

Find your exam discussion here

Should predicted grades be removed from the uni application process
Useful resources

Make your revision easier


Maths Forum posting guidelines

Not sure where to post? Read the updated guidelines here


How to use LaTex

Writing equations the easy way

Student revising

Study habits of A* students

Top tips from students who have already aced their exams

Study Planner

Create your own Study Planner

Never miss a deadline again

Polling station sign

Thinking about a maths degree?

Chat with other maths applicants

Can you help? Study help unanswered threads

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.