Re: Question: Expensive Punctuation

Subject: Re: Question: Expensive Punctuation
From: Sheridan-Smith John <john -dot- sheridan-smith -at- BMWFIN -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 1999 11:56:50 +0100

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

US, billion = 1, 000, 000

UK, billion = 1, 000, 000, 000, 000

At least that's how it always was. Unfortunately the big problem
here, as so often with UK/US differences is not the fact that there is a
difference but the inconsistent use of the two by people in the UK.

I suspect that TV journalism is a major culprit in this area. The
growth of snappy graphics that might be rendered "untidy" by the presence of
too many zeroes combined with the fact that it is too much effort to say
"one thousand million" has led to a creeping use of the US billion.

I am not aware of any concerted decision by the financial community
to switch usage of the term, though perhaps others with experience of UK
finance industry know otherwise (the applications I have documented have
rarely dealt in such large amounts).

The simple answer is to specify usage in any document where it

>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.

So what's your point? That the date difference made the system
"impenetrably complex", or that UK document managers are congenitally and
culturally incapable of doing a proper job? Bit of a rash generalisation,

Personally I think a far more serious problem is the habit our
Australian cousins have of quoting cricket scores as wickets for runs rather
than runs for wickets; terribly confusing, especially after lunch.

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

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