Convention on the order of scalar multiplication (Multiplier vs multiplicand)

Is there a convention on the order of scalar multiplication? I know there were questions before mine, but I would like to know if such distinction is culturally dependent.

This came from a news in Taiwan reporting a question appeared in a 2nd grade test. The question roughly translates as

A dozen of pencils has twelve pencils, and each pencil is sold at $\$8$. What is the total price? 1.$8\times12$2.$12\times8$3.$8+12$4.$12+8$(News report in Chinese, sorry) And the only "correct"/"best" answer was$8\times12$. One teacher claimed that this is correct (and option 2 is not) because$8$carries the unit and$12$denotes the quantity. The teacher also claimed that$8$as the multiplicand must goes before$12\$ the multiplier, so the following sum should be written in this following way:

$$8+8+8+8+8+8+8+8+8+8+8+8 = 8\times12$$

And Wolfram MathWorld said otherwise. Instead of looking for a global convention, I would like to know is such convention affected by culture or language?

I have left elementary school long ago, and I cannot remember how I was taught.

• I don't think I understand your question. It seems like the answer should just be "Yes, the convention is affected by culture/language; for example, compare this Taiwanese test question and MathWorld." – Mark S. Nov 24 '13 at 16:34