Today's Rant: I hate it when writers mix up various number denominations (trillions, billions, millions, etc.) in the same article. I believe good writing form dictates writers should chose one denomination and stick with it. For example in today's Wall Street Journal there is an article on the federal government's efforts to institute various cost savings In a Savings Shocker, the Government Discovers That Paper Has Two Sides. In it, Jonathan Weisman writes about a $2 trillion budget deficit, a $100 million savings challenge, and various savings of $52 million, $320,000, $18 million, $5 million, $573,000, $318,000, $47,160, $2 million, $3.8 million, and later, $40 billion.
This is seriously misleading. If Weisman were to pick one denomination, (say, million, since that is the most common) and be consistant, these numbers would be a much more revealing: $2,000,000 million, $100 million, $52 million, $0.18 million, $0.47 million, $2 million, $3.8 million, and $40,000 million. The difference between $2 trillion and $100 million may not sound like much, but the difference between 2,000,000 and 100 is clear.