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Message boards : General discussion : Difference between US and British counting is just weird!

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Message 124064 - Posted: 31 Dec 2018 | 22:44:30 UTC

I was looking at my cobblestone contribution to PG and the number sextillion was involved. Ok not a number I see often, Google was called upon and the following explanation was found.

"sextillion

[seks-til-yuh n]

ExamplesWord Origin

noun, plural sex·til·lions, (as after a numeral)

sex·til·lion.a cardinal number represented in the U.S. by 1 followed by 21 zeros, and in GreatBritain by 1 followed by 36 zeros."

I'm not even sure which we follow in Ireland. Probably the British version.

How or why is there such a difference? Anyone know the history of the two being vastly different but both accepted?

Call me old fashioned but 15 zeros in the difference would make my bank balance a whole lot healthier :)

Any thoughts?



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Message 124065 - Posted: 31 Dec 2018 | 23:53:35 UTC - in response to Message 124064.

I remember this difference being quite annoying when I was growing up (in England). I thought everyone had settled on the American usage now.

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Message 124067 - Posted: 1 Jan 2019 | 0:02:05 UTC - in response to Message 124065.

I remember this difference being quite annoying when I was growing up (in England). I thought everyone had settled on the American usage now.


Maybe we have, could have been an old article, I didn't notice. Anyway welcome to Primegrid and happy New year 😉
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Message 124068 - Posted: 1 Jan 2019 | 0:05:05 UTC - in response to Message 124064.

How or why is there such a difference? Anyone know the history of the two being vastly different but both accepted?


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_and_short_scales

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Message 124071 - Posted: 1 Jan 2019 | 0:14:00 UTC - in response to Message 124068.

How or why is there such a difference? Anyone know the history of the two being vastly different but both accepted?


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_and_short_scales


Thanks Yves. That's my next hours reading sorted. 😉
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Message 124080 - Posted: 1 Jan 2019 | 10:29:21 UTC - in response to Message 124065.

I remember this difference being quite annoying when I was growing up (in England). I thought everyone had settled on the American usage now.



not even close. the contient of europe uses the long.
and in china and india (a lot more people the europe) two different systems of counting are used...

from my side, I would prefer to see the number of flops wirten as scientific notation. that would be more precise...
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Message 124081 - Posted: 1 Jan 2019 | 11:49:38 UTC - in response to Message 124080.

I remember this difference being quite annoying when I was growing up (in England). I thought everyone had settled on the American usage now.



not even close. the contient of europe uses the long.
and in china and india (a lot more people the europe) two different systems of counting are used...


In my defence I was talking about my perception of the situation. That wikipedia article clarifies things a lot. I do remember things getting clearer which clearly was an effect of the UK government falling into line with the US. I do think it causes serious confusion.

from my side, I would prefer to see the number of flops wirten as scientific notation. that would be more precise...


Totally agree but I have a story. When I was about seven I tried reading a book about ants. The book said an ant has about 10 brain cells. I thought 10 was a bit low, but there was a footnote (footnote 6 as I recall) on the number. I looked for footnote 6 at the bottom of the page, the end of the chapter, the end of the book everywhere. I never found that footnote.

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Message 124083 - Posted: 1 Jan 2019 | 12:01:58 UTC - in response to Message 124080.

from my side, I would prefer to see the number of flops wirten as scientific notation. that would be more precise...


From my side, scientific notation is my idea of hell. Makes it harder for me to relate that to commonly used numbers. I'd prefer the prefix system to be used instead, but that might be in part due to the engineer part of me being more used to that scaling.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_prefix

Oh, ever tried reading financial reports? The confusion I had the first time I saw MM as a size modifier...

Just as long as we don't get into this situation...
https://xkcd.com/927/

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Message 124084 - Posted: 1 Jan 2019 | 12:07:12 UTC - in response to Message 124083.

Just as long as we don't get into this situation...
https://xkcd.com/927/


The obvious cure for that is to go back to the oldest standard available. I think that might be Babylonian sexagesimal.

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Message 124092 - Posted: 1 Jan 2019 | 14:15:44 UTC - in response to Message 124081.

Nicholas Peter Bamber wrote:
Totally agree but I have a story. When I was about seven I tried reading a book about ants. The book said an ant has about 10 brain cells. I thought 10 was a bit low, but there was a footnote (footnote 6 as I recall) on the number. I looked for footnote 6 at the bottom of the page, the end of the chapter, the end of the book everywhere. I never found that footnote.

For those who didn't get it, that "footnote" probably looked like this: 106
I've seen other estimates saying ants have 250,000 neurons, but not from an authoritative source.

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Message 124093 - Posted: 1 Jan 2019 | 14:23:36 UTC - in response to Message 124092.

Nicholas Peter Bamber wrote:
Totally agree but I have a story. When I was about seven I tried reading a book about ants. The book said an ant has about 10 brain cells. I thought 10 was a bit low, but there was a footnote (footnote 6 as I recall) on the number. I looked for footnote 6 at the bottom of the page, the end of the chapter, the end of the book everywhere. I never found that footnote.

For those who didn't get it, that "footnote" probably looked like this: 106
I've seen other estimates saying ants have 250,000 neurons, but not from an authoritative source.


:) very good :)
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Message 124098 - Posted: 1 Jan 2019 | 15:15:44 UTC


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Message 124109 - Posted: 1 Jan 2019 | 19:46:46 UTC - in response to Message 124092.

For those who didn't get it, that "footnote" probably looked like this: 106
I've seen other estimates saying ants have 250,000 neurons, but not from an authoritative source.


105.4. /JeppeSN

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