I've noticed that some people say things like

"one point seventy five" for 1.75.

I would always say

"one point seven five."

Is the former correct and is it American English? It doesn't sound right to my ear that is used to British English.

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    I think technically both could be correct, but convention is to list each significant digit as a separate entity (e.g. "one point seven five" in your example). – Gary Mar 5 at 18:18
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    It sounds like a risky / pointless usage. What if you're reading out values to someone who's expecting three digits after the decimal point? They might assume "one point seventy five" meant 1.075. Not to mention the problem of distinguishing "one point one" from "one point ten". I'd avoid this like the plague. – FumbleFingers Mar 5 at 18:34
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    I was always taught to say the digits separately, so that saying 0.75 as 'zero point seventy five' was definitely an error, and not at all 'technically correct' as Gary says. Numbers in English – Michael Harvey Mar 5 at 18:54
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    Please don't write answers in comments. If you know the answer, please write it in an answer. – DJClayworth Mar 5 at 18:56
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    @DJClayworth But these look like unsupported claims. Certainly, the maths course we used when I taught would class "nought point seventy-five" incorrect (we tested orally). But I can show you a discussion on Meta stating that your recommendation is not in line with site policy, where it is stated that help may be given in 'comments' to questions considered inappropriate on ELU. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 5 at 19:19

Formally in American English, you should either say each digit separately or identify the fraction:

one point seven five

one and seventy five hundreths

It would not be appropriate to say "one point seventy five" because seventy five is orders of magnitude larger than the decimal you're identifying.

Informally, it is unlikely anyone would be confused by saying "one point seventy five", though other numbers may cause some confusion if being heard in such a fashion.

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    "It would not be appropriate" ... needs reference. – GEdgar Mar 5 at 20:16
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    @GEdgar Seventy five is an integer residing between seventy four and seventy six. It is not equivalent to seventy five hundreths. I'm not sure what sort of source would be sufficient for that, but feel free to edit one into my answer if you feel it can be improved. – JRodge01 Mar 5 at 20:19
  • Is the qualification 'in American English' meant to imply that this is not so in British English? – jsw29 Mar 5 at 21:37
  • @jsw29 It seems as if it is a generalisation but the perception can be explained by the US use of imperial measurements and fractions that lead to confusion. In BE, it is usually the poorly educated and the very young who might say "point seventy-five". – Greybeard Mar 5 at 21:55
  • @jsw29 'Point seventy five' is incorrect in all dialects of English because it is mathematically incorrect. However this does not stop a large number of Britsh native speakers from saying it. People more often than not will call the identifying number for a credit card the 'PIN number' even though the 'N' in 'PIN' stands for 'Number' so 'PIN Number' means 'Personal Identification Number Number'. Normal speech is full of such inaccuracies. – BoldBen Mar 6 at 0:00

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