Robin Fairbairns writes:
> > The question of what to use as first and second order quotation marks
> > seems to be language related:
> > In US English (and Swedish), quotes are nested as
> > ``And then he said `foo bar', ... ''
> > whereas in UK English, it is
> > `And then he said ``how bad'', ... '
> > I think.
> I'm not aware of any fixed rule about this: if there is one, it's
> certainly not enforced.
Agreed. I have seen the former style used in so-called `UK English'.
> > * In US English, the number 1e9 is typeset as "one billion", whereas in UK
> > English, it is typeset as "one milliard". (After the French revolution, the
> > metric system, and the system with "milliard" was invented, and the
> > British, as the Swedes, started using that; later the French switched back
> > to the original system, the used in the US.)
> I boggle. I've never heard *anyone* use milliard in 50 years of
> listening to spoken English (as opposed to USAn, that is ;-). I've
> seldom heard it in spoken French, for that matter, but I did at least
> know of its existence as a French word...
Again, agreed. Milliard has never been in common use in Australia.
The new edition of the Oxford English Reference Dictionary says:
milliard n. Brit. one thousand million. Now largely superseded by
In Australia we used to say `thousand million', but now we say
This illustrates another problem to be faced. On very few occasions
have I known a non-native to get this sort of information right. And
being a native is no guarantee of authority either.