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We dont need no…cognitive dissonance February 19, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in America, india, media, rant, statistics.
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Observe where the commas fall :

Thousand – 1,000 ;

Lakh – 1,00,000

Crore- 1,00,00,000

Thousand crore : 1000,00,00,000

Lakh crore : 1,00,000,00,00,000

Do you have an intuitive feel for that number ? Moreover, is this how you write what you read as 1 lakh crore ? If so, that is one of most ugliest whole numbers out there  – how can the commas just go where they feel like !!

And then there are the Americans :

Thousand – 1,000

Hundred thousand – 100,000

Million – 1,000,000

Billion – 1,000,000,000

Trillion – 1,000,000,000

Okay, more regular. Agreed.

So we know that Rs. 100 lakhs is Rs. 1 crore and a thousand million dollars is a billion dollars. We understand this – it goes with the convention and there is no cognitive dissonance. An example of cognitive dissonance – try to answer this question in 3 seconds :

India is a nation of 1100 million and 18% of it lives in UP. What is the population of UP in lakhs ?

Then why does Rediff* use the notation : Rs. 374.15 billion. Does it also say : “Bill Gates is worth 450 crore dollars.”

Why not ?

* – More recently, rediff has a slightly more palatable format.

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