The Daily Ping

The 1st Ping was published on January 6, 2000.

July 30th, 2009

Less Cents

I’m sorry to report that a trend I started noticing a couple of years ago – companies and stores using a decimal point and a cents sign incorrectly – has been picking up steam.

If someone prints “50¢”, I know they mean 50 cents. Easy. And if someone prints “$0.50”, I know they still mean 50 cents. But when someone prints “.50¢”, they think they’re saying 50 cents when in reality they’re saying… half a cent.

It’s subtle, which is why I was only a little disappointed to see several coupons in the paper last weekend that gave “.50¢” or “.25¢” off of a product. In that case, the fraction of a cent is hardly a deal! But to think: the person who created the coupon missed that. An editor missed that. A creative director missed that. Lots of people just didn’t see anything wrong with it.

To me this is a little more egregious than, say, a comma splice since this dramatically changes the amount involved. Pingers, what can we do to reverse this trend? A witty slogan (“Drop the Decimal?” “Use Common Cents?” “You’re Being an Idiot – Learn How to Use the Cents Sign?”) might be a good start.

Posted in Consumer Commentary

CarrieP July 30, 2009, 1:14 pm

I like the third one. I’m always flabbergasted when I see people doing the extraneous apostrophe thing, especially in print. How do so many people not know the difference between plural and possessive? Boggles the mind…

Badure July 30, 2009, 1:48 pm

The US needs to get rid of pennies and make all prices end in 5 or 0. A penny is in reality worthless. The only thing they are good for are turning them into souviners!

What is this then?

The Daily Ping is the web's finest compendium of toilet information and Oreo™® research. Too much? Okay, okay, it's a daily opinion column written by two friends. Did we mention we've been doing this for over ten years? Tell me more!

Most Popular Pings