Re: mail delivery error

Subject: Re: mail delivery error
From: John Posada <jposada -at- NOTES -dot- CC -dot- BELLCORE -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 1996 07:19:52 -0500

The recent terabyte discussion reminded me of a question I've
been meaning to ask:

In older British usage, a billion was sometimes a million million
rather than a thousand million.

Is that still true, so that the word "billion" may mean different
things to different readers? If so, how do you deal with large
numbers in materials to be used in different English-speaking


I often write proposals that need to use millions and billions. It's true that
a billion sometimes means something different in international situations.

To avoid this problem, the first time I use a figure that is in the millions or
billions, I'll attach a footnote and in that footnote, I'll place the following:

1,000,000 = one million = one thousand thousand
1,000,000,000 = one billion = one thousand million

It's always worked for me.

John Posada
Technical Writer
Bell Communications Research, Piscataway, NJ
(908) 699-5839 (W)
jposada -at- notes -dot- cc -dot- bellcore -dot- com (W)
I don't speak for my employer and they return the favor

Previous by Author: STC Certification
Next by Author: Re: Challenge to active-verb advocates
Previous by Thread: CBT Software--correction
Next by Thread: Re: International English

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads