Re: Question: Expensive Punctuation

Subject: Re: Question: Expensive Punctuation
From: Dick Margulis <ampersandvirgule -at- WORLDNET -dot- ATT -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 1999 06:11:21 -0400

stamankr -at- JMU -dot- EDU wrote:
> This list has seen a lot of discussion concerning the use of commas vs.
> periods to indicate magnitude (i.g., thousands vs. fractions), but does
> anyone know of any actual intercultural communicaiton examples where these
> differences caused a major problem (not including the Boeing example that
> started this thread).

I think more problems are caused by the British vs US usage of "million"
and "billion" (which I hope someone else will elucidate).

> And while we're examining differences, does anyone know of any problems
> cause by the American system of representing dates (month--day-- year) vs.
> other ways of representing dates (e.g., the "European" method of
> day--month--year)?

I've seen this cause confusion that _could_ have led to problems had it
not been caught. I worked on a project for which one aspect of the R&D
work was done in the UK and another aspect in the US. The document
management systems were not coordinated, but several documents were
stored in both places. As this was for a regulated medical device, the
documentation was subject to audit, and had the cross-filed documents
been filed under the wrong dates, there could have been consequences
(predating a document is a big no-no). Fortunately the person in charge
of the US doc system was aware of the issue ('twas I), and the UK system
was impenetrably complex, leading auditors simply to throw up their
hands and walk away.


> Just curious.
> Kirk
> From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000==

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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