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billion vs. milliard Options
sb70012
Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 5:10:19 AM

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Hello,

1,000,000,000 = one billion
1,000,000,000 = one milliard

Is there any difference between "billion" and "milliard"? Which one is more common?


Thank you
irek
Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 5:43:46 AM

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Location: Cork, Munster, Ireland
Number is the same, but "billion" is more popular in north America and Ireland/UK - "milliard" is used in continental Europe - that's only my opinion Whistle
IMcRout
Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 5:56:26 AM
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Location: Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
AE: 1,000,000,000 = one billion
BE: 1,000,000,000 = one thousand million ('milliard' no longer in common use, as far as I know)
BE: 1,000,000,000,000 = one billion

It's all very confusing, but for people who still drive on the left or people who still use other mediaeval terms of measuring length and liquids - not to mention weights - there is little surprise, isn't there? Brick wall Whistle
papo_308
Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 5:58:36 AM
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It's true, e.g. in my country, "milliard" is used for 1,000,000,000.
It has already led to many misinterpretations in the news, newspaper articles, etc., because a billion in English texts was interpreted as our billion (which is 1,000,000,000,000).

This disambiguity goes further to higher numbers, a trillion is a thousand billions (= 10 to the 12th) in the English speaking world, while it is a million billions (10 to the 18th) here, etc.
thar
Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 6:16:38 AM

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English does not use the milliard. - I would consider it a German or French term. The problem comes between the British billion (1 million million) and the US billion (a thousand million). The US billion has won out, but there is still that old link with what a billion originally meant. The US billion has now replaced the milliard.

If it is a headline it is probably a lie anyway, and if it is a fact, use scientific notation! Whistle


Major Tom
Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 6:46:17 AM
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There's a whole page dedicated to this topic on Wikipedia.

long or short scales

rogermue
Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 6:46:32 AM

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There is still a lot to do for those people in Brussels.
Major Tom
Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 6:56:47 AM
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Yes.

Brussels needs to bring the BE's back in line with the rest of Europe.
They lost their way in the 70's due to the bad influence of their AE brethren.
Whistle
curmudgeonine
Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 9:25:52 AM

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I've never heard the term, milliard before now. Thanks
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 2:04:01 PM

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I thought everyone knew this was the first name of our 13th President, "Milliard" Fillmore...Whistle

joking sb
thar
Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 3:23:58 PM

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Surely the milliard is the imperial equivalent of the millimetre....

(also joking! Whistle )
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 4:56:10 PM

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Major Tom wrote:
Yes.
Brussels needs to bring the BE's back in line with the rest of Europe.
They lost their way in the 70's due to the bad influence of their AE brethren.

Whistle

"The rest of Europe?"
That would mean that Britain was attached to Europe!

Europe is over there on the other side of the English Channel. It's different - they speak funny over there in Europe.
Whistle Whistle
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 5:01:30 PM

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Hahahaa, Drag0n,
I can be gazillion times funnier in Finnish than in English ;-)
Major Tom
Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 5:11:22 PM
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JJ,

Shouldn't that be a gazilliard?
Anxious


Drag0nspeaker wrote:

Europe is over there on the other side of the English Channel.


On the one side they don't want to be part of Europe and on the other hand they claim the Channel as English and thus pretend to be 'joining' the mainland.
Not talking

We just call it the Channel, nothing English about it.
Let's keep the divide alive.
Whistle
sb70012
Posted: Friday, March 7, 2014 3:07:18 AM

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Many thanks.
Russian12Mafia
Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014 12:43:37 AM
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For what it's worth, "milliard" is the word for "billion" in Russian. Think
chromomancer
Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014 9:36:13 AM
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I tend to use mega and giga nowadays, as in megabucks (for lots of dollars).

Mega is much more common here (in Britain) than giga, but I'm old enough that I remember when a billion was 10^12, although nowadays I'd say the American billion totally dominates, especially among younger people.

That's why I might use giga (instead of a billion): I'd expect it to be understood, even if only as "lots". It would be informal, though. If I used "billion" and worried it might be misunderstood I might say "American billion".

If I wanted to be absolutely sure, I'd write "A thousand million." I know what milliard means, but I wouldn't use it.

(And, if appropriate, I'd certainly use scientific notation, as someone suggested, but it's not always appropriate.)
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