Thursday, November 10, 2011

Puzzling French Numbers

You plan to visit Paris soon. The email from the hotel you plan to stay is in front of you and you are puzzled.
Well, I am not surprised.
I grew up learning to write Three Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty as 3,200.50.
In France and other countries in continental Europe, this number will be written as 3.200,50. Basically the decimal and the comma are interchanged.
Some write is as 3 200,50 -- look, no decimals!

I do not mind one way or other, but why can’t we standardize the convention for representing numbers? Numbers have been around for many years now. It’s not that difficult, or is it?

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