Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Number Notation

Number Notation
The United States does not use the metric system. But this is not the only confusing difference between the USA and Europe.

The hierarchy of numbers is universal: million, (milliard), billion, trillion, quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion, septillion, octillion, nonillion, decillion, undecillion, duodecillion, tredecillion, quat(t)uordecillion, uindecillion, sexdecillion, septendecillion, octodecillion, novemdecillion, vigintillion.
In the American system of notation (the short scale), each number is a thousand times the preceding number. Thus, one billion is a thousand times one million and one trillion is a thousand billions. While in the English, French and German system (the long scale), each number is a MILLION times the preceding one! Thus, one Billion is a million times a million and a trillion is a million times a billion.
To exacerbate matters, decimals are written in the form 1.23 in the United States, 1·23 in the United Kingdom and 1,23 in continental Europe. Thus $14,100 is 14 thousand US dollars in the United States but only 14 dollars and ten cents in Austria.
The United Kingdom reverted to the short scale (American system) in 1974 and other English-speaking countries followed shortly afterward.
In India, we use neither the short nor the long scale. Indian system of notation, each number has hundred times the preceding number. The numbers goes like this: One (1), Ten (10), Hundred (102), Thousand (103), Lakh/Lac (105), Crore (107), Arab (109), Kharab (1011), Neel (1013), Padma (1015), Shankh (1017), Maha Shankh/Ald/Udpadha  (1019), Ank/Maha Udpadha  (1021), Jald/Padha  (1023), Madh  (1025), Paraardha  (1027), Ant  (1029), Maha Ant  (1031), Shisht  (1033), Singhar  (1035), Maha Singhar  (1037), Adant Singhar  (1041) 

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