Re: exponential/scientific notation in non-Western character sets?

From: Mike Ayers (
Date: Wed Feb 15 2006 - 20:00:16 CST

  • Next message: Kit Peters: "Re: exponential/scientific notation in non-Western character sets?"

    Kit Peters wrote:
    > By exponential, I mean something like (e.g) 2^3 (2 to the power of 3).
    > By scientific, I mean (e.g.) 3.08E23 (3.08 times ten to the power of 23).
    > Are either of these notations a purely Western thing? If not, how is it
    > done in other languages?

            "2^3" isn't even a "western thing" (perhaps "western thang"), so much
    as a workaround for having only ASCII to rely on. I believe this usage
    first appeared in programming languages, and folk just borrowed the
    notation rather than compose the needed ASCII art:


            Pre-ASCII languages, such as FORTRAN, use the notation "2**3", and I
    vaguely recall other notations as well.

            I couldn't find confirmation, but I recall the "E" notation as being an
    SI standard, which would make it universal. Having forgotten what "SI"
    stands for (systeme international? My French is nonexistent...), I am
    unable to check.

            For those of you keeping score, that's "not even for English" for "^"
    and "maybe universal" for "E".

            Sorry I can't do better,


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