Europeanese

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Rescyou
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Europeanese

Post by Rescyou » Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:56 am

Though this had come to discussion a few years back I don't recall most of the discussion.

In North America we write one and one tenth as: 1.1
We would say "One Point One"

On the other side of the ocean Y'all write that as: 1,1
Would you say that as "One Comma One"?

In North America we write two data elements of one and one as: 1,1
How is that written in Europeanese?

In North America we would say 1.13 as one point one three and not one point thirteen. What about in Europeanese?

It took me about a month after I started reading technical plans etc. to figure out that stuff was written different. In many schematics both Inch and MM are displayed... 1,25 may be viewed as 1 Inch or 25mm.. etc. or in Europeanese 1CM and 25MM.

To make matters even worse, I'm in Canada and we are supposed to be metricated but having the biggest user of the old standard system right next to us, we are bombarded with that measuring style and many things are still done in inches here.

What kinda numbering system (1.1 or 1,1) are used in the Middle Eastern and Asian countries?

Is the "." key on a calculator replaced with a ","? Is there a European version of Excel/Windows that recognizes the "," instead of a "."?

I wonder why there is the difference..

S.
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Anders Troberg
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Post by Anders Troberg » Tue Jan 20, 2004 10:24 am

It varies from country to country. In Sweden, the following apply:

1,1 is "one comma one"

Data elements are separated with semicolons.

Period (.) is sometimes used as thousands-separator, but that is not correct usage.

1,13 would be either "one comma thirteen" or "one comma one three", there is no fixed rule. Usually we do the "one comma one three" variant only when there are many decimals.

Only millimeters are used in technical plans, even when depicting large structures like houses, roads or bridges.

We also have a distance unit called "mil" which I have not yet seen anywhere else. One might think that it is a mile, and while they both undoubtedly stem from the same linguistic roots, they are quite different. A Swedish mil is 10 km, and it is more commonly used than km, even though it is discouraged. Anyone else who knows about this in other countries?

Dates are written on the format yyyy-mm-dd, times are written as hh.mm.ss. This is neat, because an ordinary alphabetic sort will sort them just fine.

Windows recognizes local variations on this, as do the applications. The "." on the numeric keypad is replaced with a "," (which sucks for me since i mostly use it to enter IP-adresses or when programming). The same goes for calculators.

I've also lived and worked in Jordan for a year, and they do it the same way as in Sweden, with the following differences:

Dates are written as mm/dd/yyyy.

I think the decimal character is "," since zero is a dot placed at half the height of a normal character.

Oddly, the do not use Arabic numbers (as we do), they use Hindi numbers (although in many cases, both variants are used for clarity). Even though Arabic is normally written left to right, numbers are written rigth to left.

An Arabic windows is quite confusing if you don't understand Arabic. I had to ask for help whenever I got in front of an Arabic windows. Everything is mirrored. The menus are on the right side, the scrollbars are on the left, progress bars grow from left to right, selecting text which contain numbers is just plain wierd. Works fine, though, and it can switch to English layout on the fly.

Take a look at regional options in the control panel in windows. There you can get a good idea of the differences you can expect, even if your windows probably doesn't have support for left-to-right (Arabic) or extended character sets (Chinese). The basic Windows does not do these variations, but handles all ordinary left-to-right languages.

Bruno Ogorelec
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Re: Europeanese

Post by Bruno Ogorelec » Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:22 pm

Rescyou wrote:I wonder why there is the difference...
Because of the "not invented here" syndrome. No matter how sensible a practice may be, people steeped in a different practice will resist it. They will invent series of spurious justifications, too.

The interesting point is that people have not invented a truly natural system of units and notations. All units we use are completely arbitrary -- even the astronomical units. Even if we managed to find natural units (say, the hydrogen atom diameter for length), the division would remain unnatural. No system of numbers invented so far has a natural basis. The decimal system looks fine and is truly dandy for simple calculations, but then you discover that the hexagesimal system is better for some things.

The binary system looks like the most natural of all, but it looks damned impractical for everyday use.

This is not really true -- you can learn to use it easily. Counting (and calculation) on your fingers using the binary system is amazingly simple and efficient. Once you grasp it, you can count up to 1023 and calculate with figures of up to that size easily -- not to mention making calculations with decimal numbers a cinch. But, very few people are aware of the possibility. It is not taught in school, either, so I can't really cite it as something accepted in everyday practice.

You can count on people insisting on diversity and various impractical local practices for as long as the sun rises in the east and the rivers continue to flow.

cbromano
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Post by cbromano » Fri Jan 23, 2004 7:25 am

You know why I LOVE ft/in as a standard of measurement?
BECAUSE I CAN'T FIT A METRE STICK IN MY DESK DRAWER.


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Bruno Ogorelec
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Post by Bruno Ogorelec » Fri Jan 23, 2004 7:54 am

cbromano wrote:You know why I LOVE ft/in as a standard of measurement?
BECAUSE I CAN'T FIT A METRE STICK IN MY DESK DRAWER.
But you can fit a yard stick, right? :o)

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Post by Mike Everman » Fri Jan 23, 2004 1:11 pm

I think base pi is the way to go. How organic can you get? It would be interesting to look at all the fundamental constants in base pi. ;-D
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cbromano
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Post by cbromano » Fri Jan 23, 2004 7:44 pm

I think e would be far better then pi. I don't think you could get a number more natural. :)
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tufty
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Post by tufty » Fri Jan 23, 2004 9:00 pm

cbromano wrote:I think e would be far better then pi. I don't think you could get a number more natural. :)
CB Romano
Not only that, it's the initial letter of Yurpeen, which, as we all know, is much better than Merkin.

Simon (unashamedly European)

Rescyou
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There are only 10 numbers in binary, 0 and 1

Post by Rescyou » Fri Jan 23, 2004 11:41 pm

Binary would be a very simple system but unfortunately people have now thought up fuzzy logic. So now things are ON or OFF or Almost Off or Almost ON or UNKNOWN or NEITHER OFF NOR ON or KINDA OFF AND ON AT THE SAME TIME...

Pi would be an interesting system as I assume it's pretty much a constant in the universe and as such other green weenies in the universe may have considered this as something universal that others may understand. But as it's infinitely non-repeating...as so far found... it's also pain in the butt to comprehend as a system.

No matter what what system is used, someone with a overly large brain will disect it and make it insanely complicated.

Or as this topic has been discussing, people will change whatever it is just to be different...

I wonder if we were born with 13 fingers and had a number system based on 13 if would be as easy to understand as the decimal system is to most of us..

S.
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tufty
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Post by tufty » Sat Jan 24, 2004 12:24 pm

I suppose I should add some data points here...

UK measurements - Largely metric, but some stick-in-the-muds tend to understand feet and inches better. After all, it's only been a few years since the metric system was introduced. Distances on the road in miles. Buy your petrol by the liter, but your beer by the pint. English miles are not the same as American miles, IIRC.

commas and periods as per the 'cousins' - 1,000.00
Dates are generally DD/MM/YY(yy)
Pounds sterling are now metric, but there are some pubs that will charge in Pounds, Shillings and Pence. Those new-fangled 'new pence' were only introduced in the '70s...

English measurements are confusing to the rest of europe.

In France, it's all metric, and the better for it.

Dates as per the UK
commas and periods reversed - 1.000,00 (mille vergule zero zero)
Money is all euros, although everyone talks in French Francs, pretty much. Except when they're talking about house prices, when they talk in 'old' francs.

And french keyboards are painful, especially when on laptops. The numbers at the top have to be shifted, as the 'normal' usage is for accented characters. Ick.

French excel is 'frenchised' for commas and periods. But I use MacOS X, which can swap between localisations almost perfectly at the mere flip of a control panel, so I'm spoilt.

Simon

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Post by cudabean » Tue Jan 27, 2004 11:01 pm

The thing that throws me for a loop as an American who frequently listens to the "BEEB" (BBC world service). Is when large mumbers are discussed. For example:

US
1x10^6 = Million
1x10^9 = Billion
1x10^12 = Trillion

UK
1x10^6 = Million
1x10^9 = Thousand million
1x10^12 = Billion?
1x10^15 = Trillion?

cudabean

Anders Troberg
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Post by Anders Troberg » Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:37 am

Sweden
1x10^6 = Miljon
1x10^9 = Miljard
1x10^12 = Biljon
Above that, it is not rekommended to use special words, just numeric notation.

Oddly enough, although the words at slightly different, the same applies to Jordan.

Bruno Ogorelec
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Post by Bruno Ogorelec » Wed Jan 28, 2004 11:03 am

Anders Troberg wrote:Oddly enough, although the words at slightly different, the same applies to Jordan.
Croatia, too. Our words are 'milijun', 'milijarda' and ''bilijun'.

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An oldie but goodie

Post by tufty » Wed Feb 04, 2004 9:02 pm

The European Union commissioners have announced that an agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European Communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted five-year phased plan for what will be known as Euro-English (Euro for short).

In the first year, "s" will be used instead of thesoft "c".

Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the hard "c" will be replased with "k". Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter. There will be growing publik
enthusiasm.

In the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced by "f". This will make words like "fotograf" 20 per sent shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent "e"s in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.

By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" by "z" and "w" by "v" During ze fifz year, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd
from vords kontaining "ou", and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst place.

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