Ask any child what “1 + 1” is, and without hesitation you’d get the answer “2”. Likewise, an adult will most definitely respond with the same. But if you **think deeper**, there are other answers that would be correct as well, depending on the person’s perspective.

Here, I will show you ten answers to this seemingly innocent question. Three of them are actually so-called **“standard” jokes** you’d find on the ‘Net regarding lawyers, accountants and mathematicians. Six more are my **own interpretation**.

Let’s have a look and see which ones really get you…

**Question**: What is 1 + 1?

**Child**: “Simple; it’s 2.” [Ya, you know this already]

———-

**Accountant**: “I think it’s either 2 or 3. Let me run those figures through my spreadsheet one more time.”

**Lawyer**, in a hushed voice: “How much do you want it to be?”

[This is after the lawyer has pulled the drapes, locked the door and dimmed the lights…]

**Mathematician**: “It looks like the answer should converge to 2.”

———-

**Chip designer**: “1 + 1 = 1. My **Karnaugh Map** says so.” [see pix below]

*Chip designers learn about Boolean algebra and use Karnaugh Maps (or K-maps) as a tool to minimize Boolean expressions. The “+” operator represents the OR function, such that 1 OR 1 is 1. You can find an intro to K-maps here.*

**Maths student**, having just learned about the **binary system**: “1 + 1 = 10.”

*In case you are new to binary, there are only 2 digits — 0 and 1 — in this system. So, binary 10 is actually 1 x 2 ^{1} + 0 x 2^{0}, or 2 in the decimal world.*

**Chinese calligrapher**: ^{“}… (lemme see…) + = .^{”}

*This is exactly how (the Chinese character for king) is written, stroke by stroke, starting with the top horizontal line, followed by the “plus” and finally the bottom line.*

**Pregnant lady**: “Just look at me!”

**Student leader**, tallying results of an opinion poll: “I + I = II.”

**Tallying** is a form of counting that dates back to ancient times. It is a way of recording intermediate counts by building on previous results — the diagram below depicts how a count of 1 to 5 is recorded with tally marks. Learn more about tally marks at Wikipedia.

**Singaporean diner**, accompanied by a friend: “It’s a good deal, what.”

*In the local context, “1 + 1” can mean a 1-for-1 offer, where another (lower-priced) meal can be had for free with each paid order. Thus, two persons can dine together for the price of one.*

There you go, 10 different answers to the simple “1 + 1” question. Some are plainly obvious, some not so; and then there are those that are just **WittyCulus**.

Perhaps you have yet another view on this. Feel free to comment on this post and share your version of the answer.