Date: May 1, 2013 4:27 AM
Author: rickman
Subject: Re: the situation is worse than you thought

On 4/30/2013 2:51 AM, Martin Brown wrote:
> On 30/04/2013 08:27, quasi wrote:
>> RichD wrote:

>>> Yesterday, I was on a college shuttle bus. The driver
>>> was telling a passenger about the alumni donors, that
>>> you have to give a billion $ to get your name on a
>>> monument; "Do you know how much is a billion?
>>> It's about a hundred million"
>>> Are bus drivers allowed to vote? This explains much.

>> In the UK, a billion _is_ equal to 100 million.

> Utter rubbish - that is something daft we tell stupid Americans.

What do you tell smart Americans? Or are there none?

> A UK billion was a long time ago a million millions but it was fully
> redefined by Harold Wilson's government in a 1974 parliamentary answer
> to match the US (aka international) definition. US dictionaries do not
> seem to have kept pace with this "recent" development.
> In fact both forms of billion existed in the UK up until the mid 60's
> but from 1951 onwards the US definition was becoming prevalent in the
> small circle of people that actually needed to use such large numbers.

I remember reading a short story in Reader's Digest a long time ago
about a guy who was visiting the UK and was in a pub. He was just
talking, but because we are two countries divided by a common language,
his statements came out rather wrong and he ended up getting the honor
of "The Biggest Liar" as in tall tales. One of them was because he
referred to something as a Billion and of course they thought he was
saying a million million.