# [tlhIngan Hol] an observation on the use of {vI'} "decimal point"

Will Martin willmartin2 at mac.com
Tue Jun 15 16:47:45 PDT 2021

```I don’t know that there’s one specific way to say it in English, but certainly this is one way it is said in English.

Consider the lowly zero.

We generally don’t add zeros to the left of the most significant non-zero number to the left of the decimal place because doing so doesn’t tell you anything meaningful.

Meanwhile, zeros to the right of other digits to the right of the decimal place indicates the level of accuracy of the fraction. In other words, 000025 is exactly the same thing as 25, but 0.250000 suggests a level of accuracy that 0.25 does not suggest. Meanwhile, in terms of understanding the number, it’s not as automatic to understand that twenty-five hundredths are the same as two hundred and fifty thousandths, except that it’s more acurate.

So, digits to the right of the decimal place give you both a value and a degree of accuracy, while numerals to the left work best if you give people a sense of scale as you give the number, since 250,000 (Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand) is so much easier to understand than 250000 (two five zero zero zero zero).

In many contexts, the listener already knows how many digits to expect after the decimal place.

charghwI’ ‘utlh
(ghaH, ghaH, -Daj)

> On Jun 15, 2021, at 8:07 AM, Lieven L. Litaer <levinius at gmx.de> wrote:
>
> Am 15.06.2021 um 13:46 schrieb mayqel qunen'oS:
>> At the above sentences we see, that the decimal numbers (if that's how
>> you call in english the crap that follows the decimal point), is given
>> by saying each number separately, instead of reading the whole number
>> as a unit:
>
> That is indeed a good observation, and it makes my mathematic brain
> quite happy.
>
> I don't know how they do it in English, but I remember my math professor
> who kept repeating that it's incorrect to say things like "three point
> twenty-five", which many people do in everyday life. From a
> mathematician point that's nonsense and also confusing, as 0.25 is the
> same as 0.250, so reading it as a unit would cause trouble.
>
> Good to know that Klingon scientists are aware of this.
>
> --
> Lieven L. Litaer
> aka the "Klingon Teacher from Germany"
> http://www.tlhInganHol.com
> http://klingon.wiki/En/Mathematics
> http://klingon.wiki/En/Numbers
> _______________________________________________
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> tlhIngan-Hol at lists.kli.org
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