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perhaps it is a "word whisker"
I think the word "and" is something people insert when they are first learning to read numbers, and it becomes a bad habit that their teachers have not corrected. Sure, it is acceptable- especially in England and maybe there is nothing wrong with it in many cultures. Ah, people say it all the time in the US too.|
The point is, the "and" is not needed, and you are correct that in the US, it is most correct to leave it out. (look at the example at http://literacy.owcc.net/abe/Math-C/M-19-01.htm and show me where people are taught to say "and" when they are reading numbers?)
How would you suggest we read 178,345,320,432?
According to British standards it would be: One Hundred and seventy eight billion and three hundred and fourty five million and three hundred and twenty thousand and four hundred and thirty two? Of course, maybe they break their rules there when they realize how silly they sound.
Believe me, I know people who would read it like that, and it's very uneducated by "current" standards. But as you pointed out, maybe that's not true in all countries. It was taught that way in the US for many years, but then again, most people used to have only 8 years of schooling in a 1 room school house. Even Abraham Lincoln read numbers as: four score and seven years ago.