# 1 - 1 = 0.999

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Well it does if you are talking billions

Ridiculous isn't it how One Billion minus One Billion can equal 0.999 Billion, but it's true.

How did we end up in such a situation?

In fact I think both long and short formats are wrong and they shouldn't have a new name until the current one needs to be used again.

So a hundred hundred is a thousand, a thousand thousand is a million, a million million is a billion, a billion billion is a trillion and so on.

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Well it does if you are talking billions

Ridiculous isn't it how One Billion minus One Billion can equal 0.999 Billion, but it's true.

um...

no, its not?

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What he was talking about is 1 billion (eu) - 1 billion (us) = 0.999 billion (eu).

More plainly:

$1\cdot 10^{12} - 1\cdot 10^9 = 0.999 \cdot 10^{12}$.

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

I didn't know this.

/me adds it to a very, very long list of things

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hmm... britain does not use the british billion.

I did not know that. i thought we used 1million million as being a billion...

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

I didn't know this.

/me adds it to a very, very long list of things

That is one of the most interesting things I've heard today.

I used to take french, and I always wondered why they called larger numbers by incorrect names.

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this is the sort of thing that makes me ashamed of our species.

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the fact that different countries use different counting systems?

or the fact that people find it interesting?

anyway, one million means one thousand in either latin or greek, which is what the english word was based on.

I used to take french, and I always wondered why they called larger numbers by incorrect names.

i can't get over the fact that they count in base 20. why would they do that?

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Why do you spell 17 as "seventeen" instead of "ten-seven" ?

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hmm... i never thought of that.

why do you guys say five-and-twenty instead of 25?

why is every country daft with reguards to numbers

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the fact that different countries use different counting systems?

yes.

the fact that in a modern world i can say "one billion" to someone and they could be thinking "1,000,000,000,000" while im thinking "1,000,000,000". i can almost understand having different electrical systems, or currancy, or infrastructure, but all the way down to the most basic math?

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i wouldn't really hold it against, say, the french or germans for differing from english.

but it is somewhat odd that american english and british english are different in such a confusing way.

still, it's also somewhat odd that i could say 'pants' to you and you'd think 'trousers', whilst i'd think 'underpants'.

not really species-loathing-inducing, imo

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i wouldn't really hold it against, say, the french or germans for differing from english.

but it is somewhat odd that american english and british english are different in such a confusing way.

still, it's also somewhat odd that i could say 'pants' to you and you'd think 'trousers', whilst i'd think 'underpants'.

not really species-loathing-inducing, imo

I think an embarrassing problem some British people face is asking for a cigarette in the US. In Britain a cigarette is quite often called a fag

We are slowly converging the British version of English with the US version. Perhaps if we renamed it from English more people would take it up as their preferred language. I would like to see the US put the 'u' back in color though.

Any suggestions for a new name for English?

I vote for Earthlish or more seriously, Terran

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@Dak: My point was that the english counting system also has a hidden affinity to 20 since the names of the number 13-19 are constructed differently than those above (nineteen vs. sixty-eight).

why do you guys [supposedly meaning the germans] say five-and-twenty instead of 25?

No one really knows. In fact, there was the idea to officially allow the twenty-and-five version as correct some years ago, hoping it would ease learning of the numbers for children and avoid typical typos (writing five-and-twenty as 52 instead of 25 is a very common mistake when you don´t pay attention). As with all things where people don´t want to learn something new, reason stood no chance against lazyness, so the idea was quickly dropped.

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I think an embarrassing problem some British people face is asking for a cigarette in the US. In Britain a cigarette is quite often called a fag

heh. i still remember proclaiming that i was 'going outside for a fag' in the US

@Dak: My point was that the english counting system also has a hidden affinity to 20 since the names of the number 13-19 are constructed differently than those above (nineteen vs. sixty-eight).

hmm... good point.

I'm still curious as to why

you know quite a bit of maths? do you know if there's any actual superiority of base-10 over other bases (like base-20)? I kinda allways assumed there's a reason we use base-10...

this is why i love different countries... they really show-up your assumptions about the most basic things.

No one really knows. In fact, there was the idea to officially allow the twenty-and-five version as correct some years ago, hoping it would ease learning of the numbers for children and avoid typical typos (writing five-and-twenty as 52 instead of 25 is a very common mistake when you don´t pay attention).

hmm... well, i know that in england we used to count similarly. "five-and-twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie" and so on.

even untill quite recently: my nan always used to say 'five-and-twenty to twelve', for example.

As with all things where people don´t want to learn something new, reason stood no chance against lazyness, so the idea was quickly dropped.

that's odd... i don't really know enough about german to tell for shure, but your recent spelling changes seemed rather... unuseful, tbh. kinda like worsenings, rather than inprovements. seems strange that the number reform wouldn't go through but the spelling one did?

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Could the counting to 20 be based on English currency? There were 20 shillings to the pound until 1971. With 12 pennies to the shilling that would also give a reason for starting the teens at ten three.

The French have unique names for numbers up to 16 then they adopt a logical approach from there, ten seven, ten eight, ten nine but in French. Maybe that is related to weight or some other frequently used system.

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Why do you spell 17 as "seventeen" instead of "ten-seven" ?

Well I find Twelve and Eleven odder

The dutch have it wierd too..

Tien, Elf, Twaalf, Dertien, Veertien, Vijftien, Zestien, Zeventien, Achttien, Negentien, Twintig, Eenentwintig

Ten, Eleven, Twelve, ?, Four-ten, Five-ten, Six-ten, Seven-ten, Eight-ten, Nine-ten, Twenty, One and Twenty

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the dutch looks like a mixture of english and german... weird.

as for eleven and twelve; after my question to atheist about base-10, i looked it up on the internet; apparently, base-12 has much going for it.

no idea if this contributed to unique numbers up to 12? maybe the germanic countries used to use a base 12 counting system?

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iseriously didnt know that differnt contries were so differnt in their numbers and i never thpought about 13-19 i guess it wasnt ever that important to me... oh well i still dont get why england uses base-20?!?! i mean it just seems silly to me that they wouldnt use the first number in the tens place... but life goes on we will all get over it or atlast most of it but i am glad to know now that one billion - one billion doesnt always equal 0 (im going to trick some people at school on monday about that lol)

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the dutch looks like a mixture of english and german... weird.

as for eleven and twelve; after my question to atheist about base-10, i looked it up on the internet; apparently, base-12 has much going for it.

no idea if this contributed to unique numbers up to 12? maybe the germanic countries used to use a base 12 counting system?

That would make sense. It's oddly mixed up...I guess really any bases is kinda arbitrary, Depending on if you modify the system and you have pre-existing systems working off it, but that like a given.

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