So I want to convey the message that the number billion when expressed in a realistic example that even a layman can relate to using the word tangible. And how can I say the same thing using the word palpable?


2 Answers 2


A “billion” doesn’t seem like much at first, but when you have a tangible example (or make it tangible), the scale blows your mind.

  • Thanks. That's a nice way to put it. Can I replace tangible with palpable without having to change anything in the sentence? Aug 28, 2020 at 20:04
  • @WinterSoldier I’ve only seen palpable used with feelings like fear or tension; I don’t know what else it is (or isn’t) appropriate for. I know for sure tangible works here, so that’s what I’d use.
    – StephenS
    Aug 28, 2020 at 20:13
  • Does it make any sense to say that a billion doesn't "seem like much at first"? Aug 28, 2020 at 20:17
  • I am reminded of the father of the famous (to older people) Gilbreth family, who showed his kids what a million looked like by sticking sheets of graph paper together on a wall that had 1/24th inch squares (it was the USA in the 1950s) to make a square 1000 x 1000. Aug 28, 2020 at 20:20
  • @MichaelHarvey “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.” It all depends on perspective.
    – StephenS
    Aug 28, 2020 at 20:21

"Blows your mind" is a somewhat informal, even slangy expression, but the sentence is grammatical. Palpable is a direct synonym of tangible.

  • What can be the elegant way to construct the sentence? It seems off to me Aug 28, 2020 at 19:52

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