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Richard Walker <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 18 Feb 1997 09:59:41 +1100
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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  Now largely superseded by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.