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What's more powerful the Coma or a Space?

What's more powerful the Coma or a Space?

What's more powerful the Coma or a Space?

I was just reading an article about a local city requesting state money for a cross walk on a busy, 4-lane road. The article had a statistic of "25, 150" daily cars. I had to re-read it several times to understand they meant twenty five thousand, one and fifty cars, and not a range of 25 or 150 cars. Very frustrating.

"Art without engineering is dreaming; Engineering without art is calculating."

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RE: What's more powerful the Coma or a Space?

This one is a difficult one for me. I'd love to wear our Queen's English heritage with pride and express my millions as "123 456 789", but I have to admit, it usually is less ambiguous as "123,456,789". The comma-space option in your post is of course, an abomination, but the decision to go comma or space causes me angst.

Where possible, I try to use an en-space so the digits look more like a single number. If that's not possible, I have to concede that commas are probably the next best thing.

RE: What's more powerful the Coma or a Space?

Hop across the Channel to Europe and you find they use commas in place of decimal points. Makes for some amusing expense claim errors.

- Steve

RE: What's more powerful the Coma or a Space?

i've never heard of using a space to separate thousands ... i thought is was a comma for those with an English heritage, and a period for the Europeans (i thought it was a metric thing), or nothing for technical reports.

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: What's more powerful the Coma or a Space?

People are usually spaced out in a coma.

I have seen the comma and space used in this fashion before too. On that case, when answering, I like to spell the numbers as well as quantify the amount numerically in my terms.

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)

RE: What's more powerful the Coma or a Space?

according to this link, accepted english practice is a comma, some countries use the space and some the period.

IMO the accepted engish canadian usage is 12,345,678.90.


another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: What's more powerful the Coma or a Space?

I taught a class in London a few years ago. Out of the 22 students, 3 took the tube to work and the rest were from a half dozen countries in Europe and Africa. I put up "123,456.333" on the whiteboard and asked the class to interpret the number. Everyone got it first time. One guy from Germany said that U.S. TV gameshows had conditioned the world to be able to read the number with out problem. He said that 123.456 was a lot harder for Europeans because there wasn't enough information assign a value to the ".". I thought that was a good point. It seems that engineers can deal with any number that has two or more separators, but one separator is ambiguous.

After that class I put the number convention into the nomenclature section of papers and work product.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. ùGalileo Galilei, Italian Physicist

RE: What's more powerful the Coma or a Space?

Sometimes when I space out a bit - I feel like I've been in a coma.

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RE: What's more powerful the Coma or a Space?

I feel vindicated... elephant2

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)

RE: What's more powerful the Coma or a Space?

From SAE TSB 003 "Rules for SAE Use of SI (Metric) Units":

"The decimal marker used by SAE is the dot on the line (.) for quantities in either U.S. customary or SI units.

To facilitate the reading of numbers having five or more digits, the digit should be placed in groups of three
separated by a space instead of a comma, counting both lo the left and to the right of the decimal point. In
the case of four digits, the spacing is optional. This style also avoids confusion caused by the use elsewhere
of the comma to express the decimal marker.

For example, use:
1 532 or 1532 instead of 1,532
132 541 816 instead of 132,541,816
983 769.788 16 instead of 983,769.78816"

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