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How much is a billion???

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Thanks to Arthi for this link about the discrepancy in the British and the American meanings of the word “billion”.

We were first told about this by a friend of ours at a get together and needless to say, we pooh-poohed it and put it down to his havign drunk too much wine. It is surprising that such confusion can exist, though I am sure it is not really affecting any of the world’s markets or anything. I just hope that the worlds population is being counted in the American version of the billion 🙂

A notable point is that both these systems, with the multiples of 10 or 100 or 1000 were invented by the French. In this regard, I find the French to be quite remarkable, as they develop very simple systems that easily avoid confusion. They use the metric system as against the pounds and miles used in UK/USA, they use 24 hour time instead of am/pm and in most of their databases, they have the person’s surname in capitals, so when an outsider comes in and takes a look, he/she knows instantly which is the surname without having to maintain two fields in the database records.

Vive la France!!! 🙂


Written by clueso

June 24, 2008 at 12:09 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Amazing find man!! I guess captain Haddock referred to the British one…I need to reinterpret the magnitude of his curses.


    July 2, 2008 at 2:14 pm

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