So? It's got a lot of meanings...some vocabulary words mean different things, too!

Being British, 1 billion is a 1 million x 1 million, in the same way as 100 x 100 is a thousand and 1000 x 1000 is a million. I get confused when there's reference to American billions. The British billion is more logical.

Look up the word gallon as well - that's also different in the US. For some reason the US has smaller units than Britain (just like billion):

1 British gallon = 4.55 litres

1 US gallon = 3.79 litres

and one google is 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

(1 followed by 100 0's or 1x10^100)

I try not to worry about numbers. They never add up to much.

This time I have to say the American way makes more sense - 1000 is, well, a thousand, 1000 x 1000 is a million, so 1000 x 1000 x 1000 is a billion. So what is an American trillion?!

The British system I think is the worse system, like Fahrenheit is worse than Celsius. One reason is because one rarely runs into numbers with many, many digits and when one does having two extra syllables (thousand) for half of them is annoying. Or actually, it may be more logical.

American

Million has 6 zeros

Billion (bi = 2) has 9 zeros

Trillion (tri = 3) has 12 zeros

Quadrillian (quad = 4) has 16 zeros

British

Million 6

Billion (bi = 2) has 12

Trillion (tri = 3) has 18

Quadrillian (quad = 4) has 24 zeros

The reason this makes more sense is because the prefix denotes the amount of 000,000s in the notation while in the american system it does not have as much a logical meaning.

However, since we group digits in groups of 3, the American system may be better in that respect. I'm split on this.

Oh boy...reading these replies made my head hurt a bit. Just goes to show me and numbers/math don't get along very nicely.....