Consider a system of two 1/2-spins. Under some conditions the Hilbert space can be decomposed into the direct sum of spin-0 and spin-1 representations: $\frac12\otimes\frac12=0\oplus1$.
When I write this formula on the board, I immediately get an objection that $1/4$ is not equal to 1 ! My question is as follows, how to explain this equation to the audience of physicists. Preferably in one or two sentences, concise, mathematically correct, but without going into much mathematical details.