Billion Differences!

Before 1974, a billion in the United States of America was different from a billion in Great Britain. An American or short scale billion was a thousand million (1,000,000,000), but a British or long scale billion was a million million (1,000,000,000,000). Other names for large numbers also differed between the two countries. Starting in 1974, however, the short scale numbers started to be used exclusively in Great Britain. The original usage is the former British usage (around 1484, N. Chuquet invented the words billion through nonillion to denote the second through ninth powers of a million, while around the middle of the seventeenth century, French arithmeticians began using these words to denote the third through tenth powers of a thousand)


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