I don't understand why "order of operation" questions turn into such heated controversies over the internet. The answer is unambiguously 288.

-4^2 is unambiguously -16 for similar reasons. the "-" implies "-1" which is multiplied to "4^2." People often incorrectly read the statement as "negative four squared" when it should be read as "the negative of four squared."

Negative four squared = (-4)^2 = 16
The negative of four squared = -4^2 = -16

.999~ where the "9" is repeating is exactly equal to 1. It's not approximately 1. It's not 1 "if you round up." It's exactly and unambiguously equal to 1.

Here's a far more interesting mathematical problem to ponder -

There's no shame in getting in wrong. The statement is written awkwardly and therefore forces you to carefully follow the order of operations protocol to arrive at the correct answer. At first glance, most people solve problems like this through pattern recognition instead of meticulously going through the order of operations protocol. It's perfectly understandable for people to answer "2" at first glance.

I engaged in so many of these trivial "order of operations" debates as a kid that I forced myself to meticulously apply "P E M/D A/S" before I answered.

I don't understand why "order of operation" questions turn into such heated controversies over the internet. The answer is unambiguously 288.

-4^2 is unambiguously -16 for similar reasons. the "-" implies "-1" which is multiplied to "4^2." People often incorrectly read the statement as "negative four squared" when it should be read as "the negative of four squared."

Negative four squared = (-4)^2 = 16
The negative of four squared = -4^2 = -16

.999~ where the "9" is repeating is exactly equal to 1. It's not approximately 1. It's not 1 "if you round up." It's exactly and unambiguously equal to 1.

Here's a far more interesting mathematical problem to ponder -

problem with this is that it's intentionally written like a brain teaser. People who once learned PEMDAS, and then mixed it up, are likely to get this wrong.
People who never gave a crap about math are likely to just read it from left to right.

did it ever hurt to write in some extra parentheses?

(48/2)(9+3).
There. keep it simple stupid. no thinking. no need to recall 6th grade math. no internet arguments. now, everyone should get the answer.

i'm glad that in practical everyday applications, we don't deal with 48/2(9+3).