This entire thread is blowing my mind because it reminds me that we just made math up? I mean, we did though right? Like we could’ve easily decided to always start with subtraction, couldn’t we have?

Nope. Subtraction is adding the additive inverse and doesn't distribute over multiplication. The reason why we have PEMA is because Exponentiation distributes over Multiplication and Multiplication distributes over Addition and Parentheses break those rules so you have to do the Parentheses first.

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