Money Signs

Why do we write the dollar sign before a numeral but the cent sign after? We write $14.70, but we write 70 followed by the cent sign (my keyboard has no cent key, and in newspaper writing we use the dollar sign but not a cent sign because some symbols don’t transfer to AP). It makes sense to precede the numeral with the cent or dollar sign so the reader knows right off the fact that money, and what amount, is being listed. In the case of the dollar sign, the figure is listed in reverse of its spoken order, but the mind immediately voices the figure in the proper order. When we see $55, we don’t say dollar 55, we say fifty-five dollars. In the case of cents, the listing follows the spoken order, whether using the sign or the word “cents.”

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