[sdiy] Metric OT rant -how about that billion thing?

Rainer Buchty buchty at cs.tum.edu
Tue Aug 13 11:26:42 CEST 2002

On Mon, 12 Aug 2002, James Husted wrote:

> Do the British (and some other Europeans) still consider a Billion to be
> different than we do here in America? I recall at one time they called what
> we call a Billion, a thousand-million (1,000,000,000).

Yep. In Germany we have
	Million		10^6
	Milliarde	10^9
	Billion		10^12
	Billiarde	10^15
	Trillion	10^18
	Trilliarde	10^21

(Haven't seen people talking of Quadrillion and Quadrilliarde,
yet, but this is probably only a matter of time until the national debt
rises high enough...)

Makes me wonder where that -illiarde stuff comes from; but considering
numbers German isn't the most logical language thinking of ones being
spoken before tens turning "twenty-one" into "one-twenty" etc.

> I bet this plays hell with large overseas bank transfers.

It just shows how senseless those exponent units are. If we'd just use
scientific numbering, then there would be no problem.

Although people might look a bit puzzled if their new car costs 3,047 *
10^4 currency units :)



Rainer Buchty, LRR, Technical University of Munich
Phone: +49 89 289-28401, Fax +49 89 289-28232, Room S3240

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