one billion

This is a discussion on one billion within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; while browsing the dr. math web site i came across the definition of one billion, and the fact that it ...

  1. #1
    Just because ygfperson's Avatar
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    one billion

    while browsing the dr. math web site i came across the definition of one billion, and the fact that it is different between america and england. can any uk citizens verify this?

    basically, it said for americans:
    1,000,000,000 == 1 billion
    but for the english
    1,000,000,000 == 1 thousand million
    and that the english billion is:
    1,000,000,000,000 == 1 billion
    while in american it's:
    1,000,000,000,000 == 1 trillion

  2. #2
    End Of Line Hammer's Avatar
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    At the risk of sounding dumb.... Well, I never new that!

    It all sounds a bit stupid to me, surely a billion should be a set number globally?!

    This page has some interesting comparisons. Boy, we have some great names for those large numbers.
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    Code Goddess Prelude's Avatar
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    That's true, you want to have an English billion more than an American billion to be sure.

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    End Of Line Hammer's Avatar
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    >...you want to have an English billion more than an American billion to be sure.

    If you ask nicely, I might let you borrow one
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    Registered User Commander's Avatar
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    sextillion - who wouldve thought of that!
    oh i'm sorry! i didn;t realize my fist was rushing to meet ur face!

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    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    Yes its true, (and blatantly the English one is more logical) but these days no-one uses it, everyone uses the US-billion.

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    geek SilentStrike's Avatar
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    Why is the english way more logical? thousand million is two words, while billion (like all the other numbers), is simple one. The US version seems more consistant, at least.
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    Just because ygfperson's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SilentStrike
    Why is the english way more logical? thousand million is two words, while billion (like all the other numbers), is simple one. The US version seems more consistant, at least.
    here we go, another us/uk flame war...

    so long as everyone uses one system, i'm happy. don't want to be deprived of some unearned currency.

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    Registered User fletch's Avatar
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    And to think, I used to believe that the Brits were just poorer than us. Turns out they just use a different numbering system.

    Shall we debate the merits of english vs. metric?
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  10. #10
    Just because ygfperson's Avatar
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    metric is clearly superior. it's american pride (and the cost of changing all the road signs) that is holding the metric system back in america. when you get down to debating the merits of different systems, they both do the same thing. one counts in 10s, though, and is easier to work with. i wouldn't impede the metric system's rise in america, but who wants to pay that much to do something that's going to change almost nothing?

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    train spotter
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    Maybe it would have saved NASA a lot of cash and embarasment.

    I bet one mission to Mars cost more than a few road signs.
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    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    The reason the British one is more logical is because:

    A hundred is ten squared
    A thousand is a hundred squared
    A million is a thousand squared
    and A billion is a million squared (or atleast an English billion is)

    a billion is a million million, which makes sense, rather than being a thousand million which does not.

    Anyway it doesnt really matter, the reason the US-billion is used its far more practical, a thousand million is a nuimber that is dealt with far more often than a million million.

  13. #13
    Prisoner of my own mind
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    Originally posted by Clyde
    The reason the British one is more logical is because:

    A hundred is ten squared
    A thousand is a hundred squared
    A million is a thousand squared
    and A billion is a million squared (or atleast an English billion is)

    Errm,
    One Thousand is 10^3 which certainly isn't (10^2)^2, since that's 10,000 or 10^4.
    I thought we'd given up in this country on using 10^12 as a billion and generally when refering to 1 billion mean 10^9. Possibly some kind of international standard was agreed upon. Certainly when my former employers reported a loss of 5.5 billion pounds, they certainly didn't mean 5.5 million million, but 5.5 thousand million.
    Our way made more sense though, damn the world.
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  14. #14
    Just because ygfperson's Avatar
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    Originally posted by novacain
    Maybe it would have saved NASA a lot of cash and embarasment.

    I bet one mission to Mars cost more than a few road signs.
    touche.
    the cost of avoiding that problem is not as expensive as converting to one system of measurement. simply tell all the people in nasa to go metric. unlike other places, nasa is a very scientific place, so why not stick to the scientific standard (and avoid another ... problem.)

  15. #15
    The Earth is not flat. Clyde's Avatar
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    "Errm,
    One Thousand is 10^3 which certainly isn't (10^2)^2, since that's 10,000 or 10^4."

    Heh you're absolutely right, ignore me, i need sleep =)

    "I thought we'd given up in this country on using 10^12 as a billion and generally when refering to 1 billion mean 10^9"

    Yea no one uses the "English" Billion anymore.

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