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    Unable To Just Sum It Up

    | Pittsburgh, PA, USA | Aunts & Uncles, Grandparents, Parents & Guardians, Sons & Daughters

    (At my sister’s family birthday party, my dad is serving ice cream.)

    Dad: “Which would you like?”

    Aunt: “I’d like some of each.”

    Dad: “Okay.” *scooping out some chocolate* “Some of one…”

    Me: “How can you have a sum of one?”

    Dad: “You know, 0 + 1 equals…?”

    Me: “Oh. That makes sense.”

    Dad: “You thought I meant a sum of a single number?”

    Me: “Yes. That couldn’t happen.”

    Dad: “Well, the sum itself is a single number.”

    Me: “That’s not what you said though. You said ‘sum of one’.”

    Dad: “…with the addends being zero and one.”

    Me: “Yes. I already agreed that works.”

    (Everyone else in the family is staring at us. At this point they all start laughing.)

    Grandpa: “Shush! I want to see what they have to say about ‘some of the other’.”