We got taught a little rule in maths at school: BODMAS
Which stands for
Order (ie. powers)
This is the widely accepted standard for calculations, which Excel also abides by.
For more information, the help file in Excel 2000 says this:
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About constructing formulas
The structure or order of the elements in a formula determine the final result of the calculation. Formulas in Microsoft Excel follow a specific syntax, or order, that includes an equal sign (=) followed by the elements to be calculated (the operands), which are separated by calculation operators. Each operand can be a value that does not change (a constant value), a cell or range reference, a label, a name, or a worksheet function.
Excel performs the operations from left to right — according to the order of operator precedence — starting with the equal sign (=). You can control the order of calculation by using parentheses to group operations that should be performed first. For example, the following formula produces 11 because Excel calculates multiplication before addition. The formula multiplies 2 by 3 and then adds 5 to the result.
In contrast, if you use parentheses to change the syntax, Excel adds 5 and 2 together and then multiplies the result by 3 to produce 21.
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The order in which Microsoft Excel performs operations in formulas
If you combine several operators in a single formula, Microsoft Excel performs the operations in the order shown in the following table. If a formula contains operators with the same precedence — for example, if a formula contains both a multiplication and division operator — Excel evaluates the operators from left to right. To change the order of evaluation, enclose the part of the formula to be calculated first in parentheses. For more information about calculation operators, click .
– Negation (as in –1)
* and / Multiplication and division
+ and – Addition and subtraction
& Connects two strings of text (concatenation)
= < > <= >= <> Comparison
The answer is 6 the multiplication takes precedence to the addition. The
action being taken creates the order no it's postion in the equation
eg 2 + 2 x 2 = 2 x 2 + 2
As the other person mentioned BOMDAS
eg. (2+2) x 2 =8 as everthing inside brackets now take precedence over
While this reply makes sense to me at 12:30 am. I'm sure it will be
clear as mud by days break
propertyforum Listmanager wrote:
>From: "Sergey Golovin" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Folks, how much is going be
>Two plus two times two equals ...
>To reply: email@example.com
>To start a new topic: firstname.lastname@example.org
>To login: http://bne003w.webcentral.com.au:80/~wb013
Friend of mine send me an email and in that mail they are talking about friend of friend of mine, the person who I do not know... same background though, is working in USA as computer programmer, small firm with about 30 people, making/designing press machines, like pressing plastic toys, spare car parts, cutleries, etc.
During lunch break he mentioned to some one - how much would be 2+2x2=?
An accountant pull calculator out punched the numbers and 8 came up. He said - see!?...
Then they walked from station to station, from computer to computer, checking them all out, it was 6, 8, 8, and 6 again... Company stopped for two hours debating.
Some people called them an idiot; while the others were determine to find out the real figure.
Then senior accountant came and shoved to all concerned under loud and cheerful ovations that it is equals 8.
Microsoft Excel does give answer 6.
Friend of friend of mine ... had enough after two hours of shouting and abusing each other and walked away back to his cubical.
Some time later senior accountant came in and said quietly - Now I know why every one does blame Microsoft and Excel in particular, they have bags everywhere and can't even sum it up properly....
Do you want to be client of that firm and get their statements in the mail? I do not. But then again it is so many ways to skin that cat.
>But then again it is so
>many ways to skin that cat.
No, there are reasons why we have international standards. It's so people don't screw things up by assuming which way is right. It's the only way engineering and science will work on a worldwide basis (let's just choose to ignore that disgusting incident with the Mars mission which went wrong because one of the contractors used imperial measurements instead of the worldwide standard metric !)
Excel does it right and documents how it does it.
The calculators also do it right, but give the wrong answer (in this case)... but it's not the calculators fault !
It's the data entry that is at fault. A person using a calculator needs to be aware of how it will perform a calculation. Most calculators only work with two figures at a time, so it is naturally going to perform 2+2 first, as this is the first thing entered by the operator.
The operator should have been smart enough to know that multiplication always comes before addition and then entered it into the calculator as 2 * 2 + 2.
If the accountants didn't know this and expected their calculators to work it out for them regardless, and didn't even RTFM! ... then they ought to be shot.
Tools can be extremely dangerous in the hands of the incompetent
I learnt this about calculators in year 5 at school. I don't need my degree in Mathematical and Computer Sciences to work this out.
If I ever catch my accountant performing calculations like this, then I will have to report him to what ever governing body regulates accountants. There is no excuse for getting simple school-taught maths rules wrong... especially when you are an accountant.
Hmm... maybe I ought to start running remedial maths classes for accountants and other financial "professionals".
I doubt a lot of them would be able to cope with a scientific calculator - especially if they used RPN (reverse polish notation) for data entry. If they can't deal with a simple calculator, then a more complex one is not the solution.