Dear friends,
What’s the history behind the different meaning of a billion in US
versus Europe?

Here in Europe billion equals to 1 000 000 000 000, but
in US it’s only 1 000 000 000!

The same difference goes further with trillions, quadrillions etc.
In US only three zeros are added, we add always six zeros.

I think we are right in here in Europe because bi=two, tri=three
quadro=four etc,
2x6 zeros = billion, 3x6 zeros = trillion, 4x6 zeros = quadrillion.

To be more specific

  • when this happened?
  • who made the mistake?
  • did he make it on purpose, what was the reason?
  • did the European standard exist first (I think yes)?

Tarmo Typpi, Helsinki, Finland

The other difference is the decimal point, we have a decimal comma in Europe.
And of course the European thousand separator is a point!
Still asking who, why, where, when changed this?

This will tell you all about how we Yanks screwed it all up.

We did this just to piss everyone else off for trying to get us to use such an (almost) univeral thing like the metic system. Even there we had to be different and call it a meter instead of a metre. So There!:wink:

As far as the comma and decimal point in numbers, well, we have that one right. Think in terms of a sentence. A period ends a sentence, a comma breaks it up. A comma at the thousands place is just separating a number into parts but a period is showing an end to the whole number and the switch to partial numbers. N’est-ce Pas?

Well, its a theory.