Thankful for Worldwide standards

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The world is divided by many conflicting standards. Spoken languages, Metric vrs English, 50hz vrs 60 hz current and video, right and left hand driving, ext... But AFAIK, there do seem to be a few things that the world has thankfully agreed upon:

Arabic numerals: Other standards like Roman are used ceremonially, but I don't think anyone is balancing their checkbooks in Hebrew or Kanji.

Time: Everyone in the world understands that "noon" = 12. There is the minor variation of maritime vrs AM/PM, but no one ever took the metric clock or anything else seriously.

Latin alphabet: I'm not so sure about this. While lots of people can't use ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ to read words, basically everyone can at least type a URL. Whereas while "漢字.com" is a valid URL, I'd be out of luck if I ever had to type it! Perhaps it is Qwerty that is a worldwide standard.

Am I wrong about these? Are their other standards that I have missed?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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The whole idea of a nation is an artificial standard. Every country has passports and visas.

Albert Einstein lived in Switzerland without any papers for years, so it used to be much more relaxed.
 
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  • #3
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Obligatory xkcd comic:

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/standards.png
 
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  • #4
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The metric system is more widely used than the Latin alphabet.
 
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  • #5
BvU
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Hurray for Napoleon. Pity the Brits opted out - as usual :smile:
 
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  • #6
DrClaude
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Arabic numerals: Other standards like Roman are used ceremonially, but I don't think anyone is balancing their checkbooks in Hebrew or Kanji.
Tell that to the Arabs! What we call arabic numerals are not what are currently used in written Arabic. Likewise, persian numerals are used in Iran. My guess is that these are not isolated examples.


Latin alphabet: I'm not so sure about this. While lots of people can't use ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ to read words, basically everyone can at least type a URL. Whereas while "漢字.com" is a valid URL, I'd be out of luck if I ever had to type it!
Even transliterations vary. For example, the famous Russian composer is Tchaikovsky is English, Tchaïkovski in French, Tjajkovskij in Swedish, ... Transliterations can even vary within one language (and country): How do you write the name of the former leader of Libya?

Perhaps it is Qwerty that is a worldwide standard.
The French use the Azerty keyboard (where you have to use the shift key to access the numbers :H), the Germans the Qwertz keyboard, ...
 
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  • #7
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The French use the Azerty keyboard (where you have to use the shift key to access the number :H),
:H is a number in French? That explains a few things.
 
  • #8
DrClaude
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:H is a number in French? That explains a few things.
There was an s missing there o:)
 
  • #9
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Perhaps it is Qwerty that is a worldwide standard.

Am I wrong about these? Are their other standards that I have missed?
Sorry to disappoint you, but we (in Slovak and Czech version) use QWERTZ. Not sure why, but we do :) Still, on the minority of computers there are half-English keyboards (standard latin letters plus things like ľščťž etc) and using them drives me crazy because special symbols such as ?, ! and brackets are in different places and it takes a loooong time to write something!
 
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  • #10
Sorry to disappoint you, but we (in Slovak and Czech version) use QWERTZ. Not sure why, but we do :) Still, on the minority of computers there are half-English keyboards (standard latin letters plus things like ľščťž etc) and using them drives me crazy because special symbols such as ?, ! and brackets are in different places and it takes a loooong time to write something!
The Z and Y are reversed? If so I think they were for German keyboards..

I know what you mean with having to type on many different types of keyboards, even some that have all the letters in the "correct" place, the symbols are in totally different areas. I've used Canadian / Norwegian / Dutch / German / Russian keyboards, but now I just download the specific language keyboard (english Canada) since that is the one I have memorized from when I was younger. Though I do have to back-track to say Norwegian keyboards, to use some of the extra letters in its alphabet.. æ ø å
 
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The Z and Y are reversed? If so I think they were for German keyboards..
Right. German keyboards have 24 letters in the same place as English ones, just Y and Z are reversed. Numbers are at the same place, of course. The other symbols are all different, unfortunately, and it is not a simple remapping - there is an additional key between Shift and Y (where Shift and Z are next to each other in the US), the "\|" key doesn't exist and Enter is larger.
 
  • #12
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I think it was someone in the company Data General that said: "The nice thing about standards is there are so many to choose from".
 
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  • #13
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Tell that to the Arabs! What we call arabic numerals are not what are currently used in written Arabic. Likewise, persian numerals are used in Iran. My guess is that these are not isolated examples.
Are there calculators that use those characters? Clocks? At least everyone agrees on base ten, right?
 
  • #15
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Roman numbers are still base ten. You get a new symbol for each 10x, and half 10x.
 
  • #16
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Roman numbers are still base ten. You get a new symbol for each 10x, and half 10x.
No, they're not base ##10##. Roman numbers don't use the position system. That ##10## and ##5## are special numbers for them doesn't mean they use base ##10##.
 
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  • #17
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They are base ten. And if you say otherwise I'll have my cent-urians deci-mate you!
 
  • #18
dlgoff
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... the "\|" key ...
What the ....? Was zum Te...?
 
  • #19
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Also note that Roman does NOT have symbols for 25, 125, ect... Only the base 10 numbers get symbols.
 
  • #21
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Well what would you call it then? It is unquestionably SOMETHING ten. I can describe "Octal Roman" and I'd bet most people could guess exactly how that would work.
 
  • #22
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Well what would you call it then?
No idea.
 
  • #23
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Let's say the romans used powers of 10 for their symbols. The symbols itself used base 10, because their values are 10x (and 5* 10x). This is not the decimal system.
What the ....? Was zum Te...?
The key you use to write \ or |.
 
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  • #24
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No idea.
Then it is called base ten. There is no reason that a non-positional system can't have a base.
 
  • #25
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Then it is called base ten. There is no reason that a non-positional system can't have a base.
Just because it doesn't have a name doesn't mean that you can just use a name for it that is already in existence and means something different!
 

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