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How's this for ambiguous?
05-31-2018, 11:29 PM
Post: #1
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)

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06-01-2018, 12:13 AM
Post: #2
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
Unless someone has already eaten a loaf, all 9 are still left. :-)
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06-01-2018, 04:49 AM
Post: #3
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.
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06-01-2018, 06:14 AM (This post was last modified: 06-01-2018 06:15 AM by Alex S.)
Post: #4
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... ;-)

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06-01-2018, 06:16 AM
Post: #5
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
At the left of who, Aunt Annie?
Looking from which side of the table?

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06-01-2018, 11:13 AM
Post: #6
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 :)
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06-01-2018, 12:45 PM
Post: #7
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.
How many loaves of bread had she left?

And it is a whole lot better straight away. Not bullet proof, but better Smile
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06-01-2018, 12:56 PM
Post: #8
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. Smile

--Bob Prosperi
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06-01-2018, 01:02 PM
Post: #9
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.

Assuming Auntie Annie had no loaves to start with :-)

cheers

Tony
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06-01-2018, 02:44 PM
Post: #10
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.

[Image: ambiguous.jpg]

But I digress. Sorry.

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06-01-2018, 05:11 PM
Post: #11
RE: How's this for ambiguous?
Depends how many she had on the right Big Grin
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06-01-2018, 06:59 PM (This post was last modified: 06-01-2018 07:01 PM by StephenG1CMZ.)
Post: #12
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.

[Image: ambiguous.jpg]

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)
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06-01-2018, 07:10 PM (This post was last modified: 06-01-2018 07:26 PM by StephenG1CMZ.)
Post: #13
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? Smile
Or do you need the equation editor plug-in?

Stephen Lewkowicz (G1CMZ)
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06-01-2018, 07:12 PM
Post: #14
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.

[Image: ambiguous.jpg]

But I digress. Sorry.

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

Grazie. Prego.

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06-01-2018, 10:15 PM
Post: #15
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.

[Image: ambiguous.jpg]

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
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06-01-2018, 11:06 PM (This post was last modified: 06-01-2018 11:15 PM by Gerson W. Barbosa.)
Post: #16
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.

[Image: ambiguous.jpg]

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

Edited to fix a typo
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06-02-2018, 07:15 AM
Post: #17
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,
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06-02-2018, 01:12 PM
Post: #18
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.
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06-02-2018, 02:11 PM (This post was last modified: 06-02-2018 02:12 PM by toml_12953.)
Post: #19
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
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06-02-2018, 07:49 PM
Post: #20
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

Or the Girl Scout cookies in the Addams Family movie. Smile
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