A billion dollars in Great Britain is worth a trillion dollars in the United States
No, this isn’t about international conversion rates, arbitrage, alternative universes, or even alien abductions (I’m only kidding about these last two.) It’s all about the way the different countries count their chickens and eggs.
You see, in the US, $1 billion is equal to 1,000 x $1,000,000, while in Great Britain, it was equal to 1,000,000 (one million) x $1 million. Get it? It’s sort of like the way the Brits like to add “u”s to words that Americans spell with just “o”s like color (American) vs. colour (British.)Or, how against the laws of man and God, they insist on driving on the left side of the road, instead of on the right; or how they tend to leave out articles, when referring to certain institutions, e.g. “I took her to the hospital,” (American,) vs. “I took her to hospital” British.
Or pluralizing groups that should rightfully be singular, like, “The basketball team was heading for the locker room,” (Good old American) vs. “The basketball team were heading for the locker room” (British)
And the list goes on. I mean, have you ever tried to understand how they score cricket.
But, getting back to the billion vs. billion thingy, let me put it another way:
Frankly, I didn’t understand it either. I hope you have better luck than I.
So, in the words of “Bare Naked Ladies”: If I had a million dollars . . . or was that a billion?
Oh, and can’t forget this: someone with too much time on their hands came up with this:
1 million seconds is about 11.6 days.
1 billion seconds (US) is about 32 years.
1 billion seconds (UK) is about 32 thousand years.
Thus endeth the lesson.
NB: In 1974, the billions were normalized, and now an English billion is worth the same as a US billion. Inflation happens.