What do the French call “the 90s” or “the 70s”? It seems very strange to call a decade “les quatre-vingts dix” when the rest of the number words for that decade don’t have “dix” in them at all.
On that note, I have to wonder how the French numbering system affects thought patterns in general. Is it harder to do arthimetic in your head when the first word in a two-digit number doesn’t uniquely identify the first digit in a significant number of cases? Is it harder to write down numbers people are spouting off due to not being able to write a number down immediately on hearing “soixante” like when you would “trente”? Given that I learned “mille neuf cent quatre-vingt” as the beginning to the name of the year through my elementary school’s attempts at teaching me the language, they apparently don’t just pronounce each digit separately and are even less inclined than English to do so.
Some of this is GQ, some of this is more IMHO. Sorry.
Note for those not familiar with the French names for numbers, here’s the main quirk: there is no separate word for 70 - there’s just “60 + 10”, and likewise no word for 80 beyond “4-20”, and “4-20 + 10” gets used for 90. That is, if English followed the French numbering nomenclature, 78 would be called “sixty-eighteen” and 94 would be called “four-twenty-fourteen”. And since the French 18 is more directly translatable back to English “ten-eight”, 78 would actually be called “sixty-ten-eight”.