No number

I get very annoyed by some very simple things.

One is when people cannot read simple numbers, especially examples like this:


How do you say this number?

Twenty five point six nine

You may want to put a hyphen in, but that’s got nothing to do with saying it.

It is not:

Twenty five point sixty nine

How would you say this: 38.1234? Thirty eight point twelve thirty four? This is nonsense.

Adding “..ty” to something refers to the tens column in a number, so eighty means eight sets of tens. After the decimal point, we have tenths, not tens.

It also annoys me that people cannot write simple numbers. On a game show a couple of days ago, some big celebrity I had never heard of wrote, in answer to a question:


If you can’t read it, there’s a comma in there. This is not a real number, unless you live on the continent and then it is one hundred point zero zero. The number intended was one hundred thousand. You would imagine that grown up adult human beings could write down a simple number, wouldn’t you?

I also find it sad that we use a full stop (.) to substitute for a decimal point (·). This is just laziness on the part of computer programmers, and is just plain wrong.

Poor English

I am getting increasingly annoyed by the bad English which is everywhere these days. Here are some examples.


I have never been to an auction, but have seen plenty on tv. Those programmes where people get items valued and then sell them do confuse me.

Here’s an example: the person brings in an item and the expert waxes lyrical about it. “It’s worth £120 of anyone’s money.”

So, they put it into auction with a valuation of £80 to £120.

Then they set a reserve, an amount below which the item will not sell. This has to be below the bottom estimate, and since they probably go up in £10 increments, it will be £70.

This comes with auctioneer’s discretion, 10%. That is, if it gets within 10% under it will still be sold, bringing it down to £63.

The seller has to pay the auction house, maybe 18%, so it’s down to under £52. They also pay 20% VAT on this, another £2.27 off.

£49.39 is all you get for a £120 item.


I have watched a lot of videos over the years, many YouTube but others too, and I have read and do read blogs and postings on social networks.

Never ever have I posted a comment for any of them that was rude about the person who made it, or the content, or other commentors. Very occasionally, maybe once a year, I post a comment answering some question that has been asked, or correcting some factual thing that was said, and I have a bit of a thing about spelling, but that’s about it.

If I see a video which is not what I expected from the title etc, something which I know is wrong or whatever, I may possibly give it a thumbs down. More likely I will just go elsewhere.

I do give thumbs up to videos which are informative, accurate, to the point, entertaining or whatever. I do appreciate the effort that some people take to make interesting videos. Someone like Burkard Polster, who does the Mathologer videos, will always hold my attention.

The increasingly intrusive advertising before and during YouTube clips is putting me off watching so many clips. Things I had subscribed to I now don’t because the latest clips are just unbearable – the person is talking and, in the middle of a sentence, there’s an advert for flea powder, or sanitary towels.

Social networking is an increasingly unhappy place, in my opinion. Anonymity does not mean you can be nasty. If you were picked upon, you wouldn’t like it. I know it’s the culture these days, set by Trump and Johnson, but don’t lower yourself to it.