We are based in the United States and most of our users are here, so we use the punctuation conventions used in the United States. That means the decimal separator is a period, not a comma, and the comma is used as the thousands separator. 12,345.678 Actually, this is not too hard to get used to once one realizes what is happening.
For the same reason given in the preceding paragraph, large numbers are named according to the American system. For example, a trillion is 1,000,000,000,000, not 1,000,000,000,000,000,000. See the entry on the names of large numbers.
Much of the world uses a space as a thousands separator. The international agency in charge of SI calls officially for the use of the space separator. We use it mainly in quantities used in scientific research. Using spaces as separators is really the only way of making large decimal fractions readable. Which is easier to read, 3.141 592 653 589 793 238 462 643 383 279 502 884 197 169 399 375 105 820 974 944 592 307 816 406 286 208 998 628 034 or 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286208998628034?
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Last revised: 26 June 2007.