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Wed, May. 30th, 2007 | 03:38 pm  slavezombie

virgule vs. solidus
Originally uploaded by NMEfoofoo.

When you think of the percent symbol, people tend to rely on the slash mark preceded with a superscript 'o' (or a degree symbol °), and followed by a subscript degree symbol (or baseline lowercase 'o'). It seems logical that the symbol for cents would also contain a slash instead of a vertical line through it. The majority of fonts on my computer still contain the proper way to symbolize a ¢ mark with a forward solidus. You see wiki's reference to currency symbols at Currency Symbols table with international variations.

this URL† will explain a bit more about the American cent, but notice that the former link has a symbol of a capital letter C with a double stroke of forward solidus marks. Although the US dollar sign can be used with a single stroke as well as a double stroke, the (colón) symbol is only used in Central American countries like El Salvador. Incidentally, the "Character Palette" feature on my Mac describes this symbol simply as a colon sign, which might seem quite insulting if used in a sentence for exchanging either services or merchandise. English has always had a rude disregard for accent marks.

Before I did a quick search on the Internet, I always thought a cent symbol could be interchanged with a capital c with a (vertical) line through it, and the ¶ (pilcrow") was a reverse 'P' with a double stroke stem. Wrong again! Apparently the pilcrow symbol developed from a capital letter 'C' which was the abbreviation for the word Capitulum. Are you sleeping yet? This is important because stereotyping symbols used to designate words in the spoken language could end up in a disaster like selling stocks & bonds for ass. Maybe I'm a bit dyslexic because I recall a time when I believed the ¶ sign was a capital letter 'P' with a double stroke stem (i.e. ⁋). I love learning `bout the history of symbols and special characters of the alphabet because it gives me freedom to design my own character when dabbling in calligraphy.


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Comments {2}

cathy now, insanity later


from: cathynow
date: Wed, May. 30, 2007 08:50 pm (UTC)

Pretty informative. I still don't remember when the cent sign was phased out and replaced with $0.35 this instead.

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Bier de Stone

phasing out the cent symbol

from: slavezombie
date: Wed, May. 30, 2007 10:04 pm (UTC)

I can't think of any name which may have been given to the cent symbol, the way an ampersand (&) is not properly referred to as an "and symbol". If wikipedia describes something as a "cent symbol", that's good enough for me. It won't be long before somebody who habitually uses this format ($0.01) goofs up and specifies they're willing to sell an e-zine (or something) for .95¢ which consumers might understand as 10 zines for less than a dollar.

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