How's this for ambiguous?
05-31-2018, 11:29 PM
Post: #1
 brickviking Senior Member Posts: 336 Joined: Dec 2014
How's this for ambiguous?
I thought I'd start a thread for all those times when people have great intentions but lousy explanations. This is for the problems that may seem to have one answer if you look at them one way, but actually may have multiple answers, or not have a well-defined answer at all. So, here's the first post:

Quote:(From GreenHill Publications "Maths Word Problems, (c) 2014)
Auntie Annie bought 9 loaves of bread. She gave Joe and Sandra 4 loaves of bread.
How many loaves of bread were left?

Yes, the obvious answer is 5. But what if Joe got 4 loaves of bread, and Sandra got 4 loaves of bread? The average K-2 student may or may not pick up on this as a difference.

(Post 236)

Regards, BrickViking
HP-50g |Casio fx-9750G+ |Casio fx-9750GII (SH4a)
06-01-2018, 12:13 AM
Post: #2
 Gene Moderator Posts: 1,258 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
Unless someone has already eaten a loaf, all 9 are still left. :-)
06-01-2018, 04:49 AM
Post: #3
 cyrille de brébisson Senior Member Posts: 1,047 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
Hello,

Another ambiguity is:
Did she give 4 loaf to each of the 2 girls, or 4 to the 2 girls combined?

Cyrille

Although I work for the HP calculator group, the views and opinions I post here are my own. I do not speak for HP.
06-01-2018, 06:14 AM (This post was last modified: 06-01-2018 06:15 AM by Alex S.)
Post: #4
 Alex S Junior Member Posts: 13 Joined: Apr 2014
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
(06-01-2018 12:13 AM)Gene Wrote:  Unless someone has already eaten a loaf, all 9 are still left. :-)

This is the one and only correct answer!
Gene, YMMD... ;-)

12C 15C 15C-LE 16C 17BII 19BII 27S 32SII 38C 42S DM-15CC
06-01-2018, 06:16 AM
Post: #5
 Massimo Gnerucci Senior Member Posts: 2,455 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
At the left of who, Aunt Annie?
Looking from which side of the table?

Greetings,
Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
06-01-2018, 11:13 AM
Post: #6
 pier4r Senior Member Posts: 2,106 Joined: Nov 2014
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
(05-31-2018 11:29 PM)brickviking Wrote:  I thought I'd start a thread for all those times when people have great intentions but lousy explanations. This is for the problems that may seem to have one answer if you look at them one way, but actually may have multiple answers, or not have a well-defined answer at all. So, here's the first post:

Once again, it may seem trivial for some but I found some publications shared by the slide rule museum impressive for their didactic value.

The book is "The Slide Rule And Its Use In Problem Solving " the example is about the barometer question an example of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functional_fixedness .

Wikis are great, Contribute :)
06-01-2018, 12:45 PM
Post: #7
 Harald Senior Member Posts: 760 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
(05-31-2018 11:29 PM)brickviking Wrote:  I thought I'd start a thread for all those times when people have great intentions but lousy explanations. This is for the problems that may seem to have one answer if you look at them one way, but actually may have multiple answers, or not have a well-defined answer at all. So, here's the first post:

Quote:(From GreenHill Publications "Maths Word Problems, (c) 2014)
Auntie Annie bought 9 loaves of bread. She gave Joe and Sandra 4 loaves of bread.
How many loaves of bread were left?

Yes, the obvious answer is 5. But what if Joe got 4 loaves of bread, and Sandra got 4 loaves of bread? The average K-2 student may or may not pick up on this as a difference.

(Post 236)

Yes, I HATE these things, too. How difficult can it be:

Quote:Auntie Annie bought 9 loaves of bread. She gave Joe and Sandra 4 loaves of bread each.

And it is a whole lot better straight away. Not bullet proof, but better
06-01-2018, 12:56 PM
Post: #8
 rprosperi Super Moderator Posts: 5,285 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
(06-01-2018 04:49 AM)cyrille de brébisson Wrote:  Hello,

Another ambiguity is:
Did she give 4 loaf to each of the 2 girls, or 4 to the 2 girls combined?

Cyrille

Cyrille points out yet another ambiguity I had not noticed until now. Is "Joe" a boy or a girl.

--Bob Prosperi
06-01-2018, 01:02 PM
Post: #9
 teenix Senior Member Posts: 1,579 Joined: May 2016
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
(05-31-2018 11:29 PM)brickviking Wrote:  Yes, the obvious answer is 5. But what if Joe got 4 loaves of bread, and Sandra got 4 loaves of bread? The average K-2 student may or may not pick up on this as a difference.

cheers

Tony
06-01-2018, 02:44 PM
Post: #10
 Joe Horn Senior Member Posts: 1,847 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
Ambiguity is everywhere. Just last week I noticed both of these ambiguous food labels in the store. Hilariously disturbing.

But I digress. Sorry.

<0|ɸ|0>
-Joe-
06-01-2018, 05:11 PM
Post: #11
 Zaphod Member Posts: 270 Joined: Apr 2018
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
Depends how many she had on the right
06-01-2018, 06:59 PM (This post was last modified: 06-01-2018 07:01 PM by StephenG1CMZ.)
Post: #12
 StephenG1CMZ Senior Member Posts: 932 Joined: May 2015
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
(06-01-2018 02:44 PM)Joe Horn Wrote:  Ambiguity is everywhere. Just last week I noticed both of these ambiguous food labels in the store. Hilariously disturbing.

But I digress. Sorry.

I stopped believing food labels once my supermarket tried to sell me something called "Turkey ham" - which sounds about as likely as a flying pig. Or how about "corned beef", which some people tell me has no corn.

Stephen Lewkowicz (G1CMZ)
06-01-2018, 07:10 PM (This post was last modified: 06-01-2018 07:26 PM by StephenG1CMZ.)
Post: #13
 StephenG1CMZ Senior Member Posts: 932 Joined: May 2015
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
The fundamental ambiguity is the title, which needs some context.

Are you reading "Math Word Problems" in a Maths class? = make the numbers clear
Give {Joe and Sandra} is obviously 4 loaves moved, and Give {Joe,Sandra} is obviously 8 loaves moved, isn't it?

Are you reading "Math Word Problems" in an English class? = discuss the parsing and ambiguity in the English.

Are you reading "Math Word Problems" in a Computing Class? Is there a Microsoft Word Bug?
Or do you need the equation editor plug-in?

Stephen Lewkowicz (G1CMZ)
06-01-2018, 07:12 PM
Post: #14
 Massimo Gnerucci Senior Member Posts: 2,455 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
(06-01-2018 02:44 PM)Joe Horn Wrote:  Ambiguity is everywhere. Just last week I noticed both of these ambiguous food labels in the store. Hilariously disturbing.

But I digress. Sorry.

I wouldn't touch that Italian Sauce with a pole!

Grazie. Prego.

Greetings,
Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
06-01-2018, 10:15 PM
Post: #15
 brickviking Senior Member Posts: 336 Joined: Dec 2014
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
(06-01-2018 07:12 PM)Massimo Gnerucci Wrote:
(06-01-2018 02:44 PM)Joe Horn Wrote:  Ambiguity is everywhere. Just last week I noticed both of these ambiguous food labels in the store. Hilariously disturbing.

But I digress. Sorry.

I wouldn't touch that Italian Sauce with a pole!

Grazie. Prego.

The even scarier one is the one on the left. Who flavours their noodles with their people group anyhow? What are they, cannibals?

(Post 237)

Regards, BrickViking
HP-50g |Casio fx-9750G+ |Casio fx-9750GII (SH4a)
06-01-2018, 11:06 PM (This post was last modified: 06-01-2018 11:15 PM by Gerson W. Barbosa.)
Post: #16
 Gerson W. Barbosa Senior Member Posts: 1,464 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
(06-01-2018 02:44 PM)Joe Horn Wrote:  Ambiguity is everywhere. Just last week I noticed both of these ambiguous food labels in the store. Hilariously disturbing.

Reminds me of a certain cookbook, found only in the Twilight Zone... To Serve Man.

Edited to fix a typo
06-02-2018, 07:15 AM
Post: #17
 Massimo Gnerucci Senior Member Posts: 2,455 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
(06-01-2018 11:06 PM)Gerson W. Barbosa Wrote:  Reminds me of a certain cookbook, found only in the Twilight Zone... To Serve Man.

Good catch Gerson! ;)

Greetings,
Massimo

-+×÷ ↔ left is right and right is wrong
06-02-2018, 01:12 PM
Post: #18
 grsbanks Senior Member Posts: 1,219 Joined: Jan 2017
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
(06-01-2018 06:59 PM)StephenG1CMZ Wrote:  Or how about "corned beef", which some people tell me has no corn.

The "corn" in corned beef has nothing to do with the cereal. It is derived from an Anglo-Saxon word that means any kind of small, hard particle and, as I understand it, refers to the coarse grains of salt (corns) that were used to preserve the beef.
06-02-2018, 02:11 PM (This post was last modified: 06-02-2018 02:12 PM by toml_12953.)
Post: #19
 toml_12953 Senior Member Posts: 1,886 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
(06-01-2018 06:59 PM)StephenG1CMZ Wrote:  I stopped believing food labels once my supermarket tried to sell me something called "Turkey ham" - which sounds about as likely as a flying pig. Or how about "corned beef", which some people tell me has no corn.

I looked at the ingredients of a box of Grape Nuts cereal. No grapes, no nuts. Huh! I looked at a can of "Breast O' Chicken" It's tuna!

Tom L
Cui bono?
06-02-2018, 07:49 PM
Post: #20
 John Keith Senior Member Posts: 774 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
(06-01-2018 11:06 PM)Gerson W. Barbosa Wrote:  Reminds me of a certain cookbook, found only in the Twilight Zone... To Serve Man.

Edited to fix a typo