Grammatically, there is only one way to read the statement. "One half of the pole is in the ground, another one third (of it - the pole) is covered by water and eight feet (of it) is out of the water. The words in parentheses are implied, UNLESS otherwise stated.- for instance, "one third of the rest...". We must always assume that the rest of the statement applies to the original subject, unless otherwise qualified. The answer, therefore must be 48 feet.
Edited by jimlyc, 16 July 2008 - 03:36 AM.