How much is one billion? I am surprise to find out no many people know this word represents two numbers difference by a factor of 1000 depends on who you talk to. In US, 1 billion is 1000000000, 9 zeros, but in UK, 1 billion is 100000000000, 12 zeros. Today at lunch, we talked about the dream for all guys, marry to a rich woman and settle for life. One friend declare he will sell his body (probably his soul) to any woman, even an ugly, old and stingy woman, for 2 billion dollars. Then we joked about what currency this 2 billion dollar is, some insist it has to be in US, but some one say 2 billion HK dollars is enough. Then I bring up the question which definition of billion he is refering to, since it makes a big difference. Actually, I am the only one in my lunch group knows there is a difference, and no one believes me at first. To be honest, I couldn’t remember the exact difference either. It is hard to convince others when everyone think you are wrong and you have no external authoritative reference. Fortunately, I have Oxford dictionary installed in my Treo, so I simply look up the word and prove I am right. It is so convenient that technology brings all information to your finger tip. Just imagine if there is unlimited broadband internet connection to my Treo to bring together the power of Google and Wikipedia as well. Many unnecessary arguments are often caused by inaccurate information, if everyone can access reliable source of information at anytime, the world would have less argument and be more quiet.
Now, here is the billion dollars question, how much is 1 billion worth in HK? I assume it would follow the UK definition since it was an English colony, but somehow I sort of remember HK follow the US monetary system. Anyways, next time when you have a deal worth a billion, make sure both side agree on the same definition of a billion.