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From: Jack Uretsky [SMTP:jlu@HEP.ANL.GOV]
Sent: Monday, February 12, 2001 2:39 PM
Subject: Re: SI question
You can find the SI system at
On Sun, 11 Feb 2001, David Bowman wrote:
Regarding Joel Rauber's question:use the
I have a question for the SI guru's out there.
It is common practice in the US to use a period "." as a delimiter in
expressing a number between the whole number digits and the fractional
digits. I.e. the decimal point. In Europe it is common practice to
comma "," for the same purpose.
Is there an official SI position on what symbol to use for the "decimal
I don't think the arbiters of SI style require either method (dot or
comma) of delimiting decimals other than to recommend the use of the
method that is common for the language in which one is writing. For
instance, in English its the dot-type decimal point, and in German its
the comma-type of delimiter.
The NIST has a style guide (SP811) that covers this matter as the
recommended practice in the United States. See
for further details. In particular, in Section 10.5.2 it is written:
Decimal sign or marker
The recommended decimal sign or marker for use in the United States
is the dot on the line [4, 8]. For numbers less than one, a zero is
written before the decimal marker. For example, 0.25 s is the correct
form, not .25 s.
While [Jane] Austen's majestic use of language is surely diminished in its
translation to English, it is hoped that the following translation conveys
at least a sense of her exquisite command of her native tongue.
Greg Nagan from "Sense and Sensibility" in
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