euler wrote:Remember, the word product means the answer you get from multiplying.
In grade school, i thought i was good at word problems. But it wasn't until teaching my son how to get through them that i discovered how it is that i do them. Apparently, i think of lots of interpretations, pick one that seems most likely, then refine it as needed.
So, now i hear myself saying things like "product means multiply", "quotient means division", "difference means subtraction". He was doing gcf and lcm recently, and sure enough, there are wording cues there too. If they taught this explicitly in school, i missed it. They might have. They're not in my son's books.
It seems obvious now. But in grade school, definitions were things you had to memorize for tests, and then you could forget them. They seldom were used. It reminds me of the incredibly exciting Goblin Wars, and how professor Binns made the whole subject so boring.
I still have an ingrained dislike for definitions. I work in an industry where there are tons of brand new terms. Often there are three or four terms that mean the same thing, or a term that different people claim to mean quite different things. I often find myself translating. Certification exams often depend on them heavily.
Anyway, i'm getting to a level of problems here where my old approach simply doesn't work. Time for a new approach. Simply adding a "back track and try another interpretation" step is getting old.