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 Now largely superseded by billion. In Australia we used to say `thousand million', but now we say `billion'. 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.