In a test I took recently in my beginning Physics class there was a question that really irked me:
A man is swimming upstream at 10 mph. The water is flowing downstream at 5 mph.
How fast is the man moving?
Well, you can actually take this question two ways:
Firstly, "a man is swimming upstream at 10 mph" could mean exactly what it sounds like, and therefore the 5 mph down-streaming water is irrelevant and the man was actually using enough force to swim 15 mph in stationary water. That means he was moving at a speed of 10 mph, like it stated.
Alternatively, it could be taken to mean "a man is swimming upstream at 10 mph", meaning that that is the amount of force he is using. The man is using enough force to swim 10 mph in stationary water. Then, if the water is moving downstream at 5 mph, then he is moving at a speed of 5 mph.
I chose the first answer, but I want to figure out if I got the question right. Is there a way to tell? As in some sort of order of operation for Physics?