On a very loosely related note, why do most europeans transposes commas and periods in numbers (I know that sounds very US-centric, but that's where I'm from)? Shouldn't we all be saying "eff one comma four" - f/1,4?
1,200 = one thousand two hundred in my book (not one and two tenths with 3 decimals of certainty)
Europeans do not transpose points and comma's - we use them as they were originally intended to be used.
The point is a mathematical term that came with metric system, which in itself replaced the imperial system of fractions etc. When used in grammar - it is referred to as a 'full stop'.
The comma is used in numeracy to give an indication to size of number by separating hundreds from thousands, thousands from millions etc. in gramma, the comma is used to indicate a pause between statements.
It should also be noted that Europeans speak French, German, Spanish, Italian, Flemish to name but a few. Each language has their own title for these grammatical terms, so it would be unfair to say "the Europeans" when we consist of so many varaiants in language.
And before any one says it - The English language was developed by the English and not Microsoft or the US Simplified English legislation passed in the 1950's or 60's.