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Its read "one thousand four". The 'and' is unnecessary and ambiguous. One of my hot buttons.

It's read "one thousand four" in US english. In British english (and in many Commonwealth countries like Australia and New Zealand; not sure about Canada) it's read "one thousand and four", regardless of whether the and is unnecessary or ambiguous.

Admit I don't have strong feelings either way but out of genuine curiosity, why is one thousand four less ambiguous than one thousand and four?

You could argue one thousand four is actually easier to misinterpret because it could easily (although incorrectly) be read to mean "one thousand fours."

edit: typo.

It matters when fractions are involved. Try reading both of these:

  100 2/3


Odd; I read improper fractions differently.

100 2/3 - One hundred and two-thirds. 102/3 - One hundred two over three.

Thanks, hadn't thought about that scenario. I have a feeling it's going to start bugging me as well now...

For what it's worth, the "and" is mandatory in my language and we manage to disambiguate 100 2/3 from 102/3 by putting a pause between either "hundred" and "and" or "two" and "thirds".

100 2/3 - one hundred ... and two thirds

102/3 - one hundred and two ... thirds

Alternatively, use "plus" instead of "and" in the first case.


Just to make it worse for you: why don't people also pronounce 1492 as "one thousand and four hundred and ninety and two"?

Surely that comes from the same language structure which means you wouldn't say beans and eggs and tomatoes and potatoes, you'd say beans, eggs, tomatoes and potatoes e.g. in a list of "and" items you only say and between the penultimate and final items?

http://xkcd.com/725/ and http://xkcd.com/386/ both come to mind...

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