Quote:
Originally Posted by My Sweet Shadow
The issue then is what does 2(12) mean? If you're going solely based on mathematics, with no knowledge of common conventions and shorthands, there is no operator, thus there is no operation. If anything, that notation in math would be "2 as a function of 12" which makes no sense in this context. 2(12) could mean 2+12 as much as it could mean 2*12. The only reason that statement seems ridiculous to us is because 2(12) is a common shorthand of 2*(12).

But that still means when you take it as (48 / 2)(12) there is still no operation in between the brackets.
I think the tricky part of it is that it tricks your mind into thinking 2(12) is one term (regardless of the operation that is assumed).
Our brains look for patterns. At least for me when i first look at a division i put it into a fraction form, so i look for the numerator and denomenator. 2(9+3) looks like one term, and as such becomes my denominator.