Subject Re: [ib-support] [OT] Billion
Author (no author)
From: "Paul Reeves" <paul@...>
> Except that British usage of billion now consistently conforms to the
> usage. The dictionaries are behind the times on that. And we all know that
> English is defined by usage, not by committee nor by dictionary. So a
> in English is one thousand million, not one million million. You really
> argue with common usage.

This thread has been enlightening, to say the least. Many, if not most, of
us in the US have no clue that we are the only ones who use billion,
trillion, etc. like this. I went through 12 years of lower education and 4
years of higher education and have never run across this before.

Maybe this accounts for my own reaction which is to look at conventions such
as "milliard" to be silly. Now, don't get the wrong impression, I am not
trying to put down the rest of the world. Our attitude about this is the
same as yours, since it's what we're taught all our lives, it's what we know
and when we hear something different, well, it's just not logical to us. We
have always been taught that billion is 10^9 not 10^12.

As everyone knows, our country was founded on the intention of being
"different" from what was then, the rest of the known world. In many ways,
we still hold this opinion and belief. That causes some problems such as
this, and the metric system to point out another obvious one. One could even
liken the monetary system of Europe to this as it is now ongoing that most
(or all) currency is being converted to the Euro whereas before everyone had
their own system of currency. It is only now, in this day and age, that we
are coming to grips with the reality of our differences such as these. I
believe it is mostly brought on by the now instant communication and sharing
of information and technology that was lacking as little as 20 years ago. It
will take some time before conferences from all over finally come to settle
on something common in each of these areas of contention.