Can you blame them?

W + W + W = 30

W + X + X = 20

X + X + Y = 18

What is V + X * Y?

What, you didn't realise that V was W/2? Expected parentheses that could trivially be added to remove all unneeded ambiguity rather than remember BEDMAS? That's exactly what the 90% of people who fail would say.

What I find funny abot this is that the way these problems are displayed, it makes way more sense for V being sqrt(W), since having 2 variables without anything between them usually means multiplication.

Yeah, I like to point out that while they probably are looking for V being W/2, that relationship is not defined, so I use SQRT(W) as an example of why it's important to define terms early.

But speaking of PEDMAS (or BODMAS or any other permutation of that acronym), I never learned it that way. I simply learned that multiplication happens before addition with parentheses redirecting priority as needed. I later learned about exponents, and it just made sense to me that you work those first because you can view expressions as adding together a bunch of groups, and of course you do exponents before multiplication. But superscripts help with that. One may question the intent of writing x^3*y, but the superscript easily differentiates between x

^{3}y and x

^{3y}. While x^3*y would strictly be equivalent to the former, I would ask for clarification first because I can see where the author could make an unfounded assumption in writing that.

But I feel like the PEDMAS acronym is hurting people in those Facebook math questions. The latest I've seen is 5-5*5+5. People not aware of the order of operations will say 5, but I've seen a lot of people say that the answer is -25. The reason is that you multiply first (5-25+5) and then add next (5-30) and finally subtract (-25). They don't realize that addition and subtraction have the same priority (or that they are in fact the same operation).

Naturally, the commutative property does let you add those in any order, but they think they can add 25 and 5. They don't realize that the term is -25. When people can't remember the actual math, they seem to fall back on the acronym, but they're not using it correctly. I've seen people try to correct them by writing it as PE(DM)(AS) to indicate when priority is equal. I can respect that attempt.