I'll stand by my reply at the time (below). It should be obvious that my position is not arguing either for or against the musings published by Malcom Gladwell, but rather that it was not manifestly obvious that there was nothing there, as some "experts" here declare. - ---------
The proposition is that using different words could have an effect on the ease with which youngsters come to understand a number of arithmetic concepts.
The idea that the language one uses can affect various aspects of learning in general is hardly idiotic, and this case is no different. Either words make no difference and one can name numbers anything at all, or they make a difference. If they make a difference the either English names are somehow maximally efficient already from this particular perspective (early learning) or they can be improved upon.
I woudn't take Gladwell's writings for anything more than a starting point to learn more about the research in this area. And as I have pointed out repeatedly, it appears likely to be a matter that can be settled far more easily than many of the other debates indulged in here.
Your unwarranted "polite company" remark should be enough to exlcude you. - -------------