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Re: OT: Writing numbers longhand

On Monday 24 May 2004 14:50, Daniel Barclay wrote:
> richard lyons wrote:
> > On Thursday 06 May 2004 14:43, Paul Johnson wrote:
> >>...1,234,567.89 is "one million, two-hundred-thirty-four
> >>thousand, five-hundred-sixty-seven and eighty-nine
> >> one-hundredths."
> >
> > Oh come on - I never heard anyone pedantic enough to spell out
> > the decimals like that.
> That's not pedantic.  That's the original form before we started
> abbreviating as you refer to next.

I very much doubt that was the original form.  Can you give me source 
to back up that assertion?  [hint: Try Milton, round about 1653; 
Simon Stevin, tr. R Norton, "The Art of Tenths, or Decimal 
Arithmetike" 1585; H Lyte "The Art of Tenths or Decimall 
Arithmeticke" 1619; Napier's Logarithms, tr. E Wright, 1616; or 
anything seventeenth or early eighteenth century.]

If it were so, then you would first have to count the decimal places 
to work out how large the denominator was.  1.00045678 -- "ah yes 
that is one and fortyfive thousand six hundred (and) seventyeight 
hundred-millionths."  I don't think so!  And this is precisely why we 
say "point nine eight" not "point ninetyeight" and "point nine eight 
seven" not "point ninehundred (and) eightyseven" -- or even "and nine 
hundred (and) eightyseven thousandths".  The "nine" - first digit 
after the decimal point - has the same value regardless of how many 
digits are stated after it, so we don't want to name it differently.

> >  Everyone says "one million, two hundred (and) thirtyfour
> >
> > thousand, five hundred (and) sixtyseven point eight nine...


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