At Least It's Easier to Become a Billionaire!

Article excerpt

THERE can be no question that Mr Hinchcliffe, of Dululu (TMB, 13/7) and I like our Shorter Oxford English Dictionary.

In my case, I regard "shorter" to be a misnomer, as one has to be a Dean Lukin just to lift it.

The real reason for American spelling and grammar is the penetration of Microsoft software into all aspects of Australian life.

APN (the owners of The Morning Bulletin) journalists would be using some form of Microsoft, with the dictionary according to Bill Gates.

The APN group would be using an in-house style guide for uniformity, as would all large organisations.

The style guides in use usually have their foundations in American English rather than in the Middle English of our youth.

Not all things that we have adopted from the US are necessarily bad.

Take our naming of large numbers as an example.

When we were young, we were taught that a thousand, a million, a billion and a trillion were 10 to the power of three, six, 12 and 18 respectively but we now use a billion as 10 to the power of nine and a trillion as 10 to the power of 12, which is more logical as they are stepped up in multiples of a thousand after a million. …

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