2132: Percentage Styles

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Percentage Styles
In a tribute to classical Latin, I started pronouncing it 'per-kent.' Eventually my friends had to resort to spritzing me with a water bottle like a cat to train me out of it.
Title text: In a tribute to classical Latin, I started pronouncing it 'per-kent.' Eventually my friends had to resort to spritzing me with a water bottle like a cat to train me out of it.


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The comic lists ways in which you can write out phrases which phonetically are the same as "65%" listed from best to worst. They go from the common "65%" and "65 percent" to an odd "sixty-five per (I can't type out a cent symbol)" which nobody would ever actually use.


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The only proper style for Britain and the US is ‘%65’. Aasasd (talk) 16:20, 3 April 2019 (UTC)

O RLY? 16:37, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
Yes. You don't write ‘65$’, do you? British/US standards should be followed properly and consistently. Aasasd (talk) 17:19, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
If there is any consistency, it is that unit follows numbers. 3', 2 m, 40 lbs, 2 l, and so on. Currency is the exception. --Klausok (talk) 10:33, 4 April 2019 (UTC)
I've definitely seen %NN stated by style guides, but I almost never see anybody using it, because reading it aloud encourages saying it as "percent sixty-five". Oddly, people seem to have no trouble remembering to write $65 instead of 65$, despite the same "dollars sixty-five" vs "sixty-five dollars" vocalization issue. Perhaps it's because we often see things like $65.95 but %65.95 is used less often? Writing 65.95% is potentially ambiguous depending on how it's read out loud: "sixty-five point ninety-five percent" could definitely be misinterpreted very easily. 65.95$ is definitely not ideal, & $65.95¢ is somehow even worse. How about 65$.95¢? ;S
ProphetZarquon (talk) 17:08, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
At https://ask.metafilter.com/7894/Is-the-form-of-100-instead-of-100-a-different-language-useage discussers encountered %NN but eventually decided it was a mistake spread by low literacy. More common is "NNpc". 20:33, 3 April 2019 (UTC)

There's also 65/100, 65:100, \textstyle\frac{65}{100}, sixtyfive-hundreth, 0.65, and point sixty-five. Benny. 16:41, 3 April 2019 (UTC)

There's also 650‰ 16:52, 3 April 2019 (UTC)

Wouldn't that be 650 hundredths? I've seen "and sixty-five ‰" a cheque before. ProphetZarquon (talk) 17:08, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
"650‰" is "650 per mille (per thousand)", and is precisely the same as "65%". RandalSchwartz (talk) 19:42, 3 April 2019 (UTC)

Even lower than 65 per¢ should be 65 per penny. -boB (talk) 20:00, 3 April 2019 (UTC)


BTW, I can imagine the transcript of this one posing some challenge for screen readers. Aasasd (talk) 17:01, 3 April 2019 (UTC) \´65

On a second thought, I can also imagine people who use screen readers never hearing any difference between the writing styles listed in the comic. Aasasd (talk) 17:24, 3 April 2019 (UTC)

This may have come up because last Friday the A.P. Stylebook announced their changes for 2019, including a change to percent. https://www.poynter.org/reporting-editing/2019/ap-says-the-percentage-sign-now-ok-when-used-with-a-numeral-thats-shift5/


Compile here the missing styles:

  •  %65
  • 65 pc, 65 pct, 65 pct., 65 cent
  • sixty-five percent; sixty-five per cent; sixty-five per ¢
  • sixty-five per hundred; 65 for every 100
  • 65% percent; 65% per cent; 65% per ¢
  • 65/100; 65÷100; 65:100; 65 x 1/100
  • 65*10^-2; 65×10⁻²; 65×10^-2; 65*10⁻²; 6.5e-1
  • 0.65; 0,65
  • 65 per penny (wasn't this a joke?)
  • almost 2/3rds
  • 65¢^-1; 65¢⁻¹
  • 65 pennies on the dollar; 65 cents on the dollar
  • 13/20
  • \SI{65}{\per\cent}
  • LXV/C (Like the ancient Romans would write.) 19:35, 3 April 2019 (UTC)

Also 6.5e-1. -- Hkmaly (talk) 23:29, 3 April 2019 (UTC)
Also simply 'cent,' which is used in property tax assessment in California. It's a pretty sneaky way to make the tax seem really small. --

Yeah, Randall dropped the ball on this one. I am disappoint. At the very least there should have been an entry where "per" was written as "/". Also since the cent sign is not on most keyboards but the dollar sign is, I would have expected "6500/$". Also, google agrees: https://www.google.com/search?q=6500%2F%24+in+cent^-1 :p 07:30, 4 April 2019 (UTC)

I was waiting for 650‰ or even 6500‱. Maybe next time. JohnHawkinson (talk) 23:13, 5 April 2019 (UTC)

= Celtic =

I suggest you remove the reference to "celtic". In modern English it's rarely pronounced "seltic" except in the names of a couple of sports teams. There is a substantial discussion of this online - just Google "pronounce celtic". Irish people are Celtic and almost zero Irish say "seltic" - except in relation to Glasgow Celtic football club. 08:28, 4 April 2019 (UTC)

oops! I figured because I learned Latin and was the only person who said 'keltic' when I saw a sports team, that I was wrong! 11:22, 4 April 2019 (UTC)


Narrow non-breaking space missing

Randall disappoints tbh. The omly proper way would be 65 %. -- 22:52, 4 April 2019 (UTC)

C in Latin

“In Classical Latin, "C" is always pronounced like "K".” – that’s wrong. It depends on the school (and maybe also the country). Where I learned Latin, most c were pronounced like the German z (for example in Caesar). --DaB. (talk) 13:01, 5 April 2019 (UTC)

That's not classical Latin - that's vulgar Latin. The classical Latin C derived from the Greek gamma, and is pronounced like 'K' - you can even see the derivation in the shape of the letter. You are conflating vulgar with classical here. Hyperum (talk) 04:34, 10 April 2019 (UTC)

@ IP, please do not """"correct"""" the pronunciation of kaiser (Caesar) to 'keezer' again. That isn't how Latin is pronounced. Hyperum (talk) 04:34, 10 April 2019 (UTC)

centum vs. cent vs. penny

In this context, "cent" is an abbreviation for the Latin word "centum", meaning 100. In English, the word "cent" means 1/100th of a dollar, which is one of the three official versions of the currency of the United States. They are: dollars, dimes, and cents. Substituting cent (currency) for cent (abbreviation for "centum") is a malapropism. But "penny" refers to British currency, not American. The penny (plural:pence) was 1/240 of a pound until decimalization in the 1970s, and 1/100 of a pound thereafter. Americans often refer to a one-cent coin as a "penny", but this is just a nickname, not the actual name of the coin or the value of the coin. The name of the coin is one cent. Its value is 1 cent, which equals 1/10 of a dime, or 1/100 of a dollar. Changing centum --> cent--> penny would be a double malapropism.

This begs the question, how far can we push beyond the boundaries of reason? Indeed, that is the entire spirit of Randall's premise here. Why stop with a double malapropism? We could use centum --> cent --> scent. Heck, why not centum --> cent --> penny --> penne --> macaroni --> Marconi --> Tesla. Where do we stop? Common sense tells me I'm way over the line. But common cents tell me nothing. 14:31, 8 April 2019 (UTC)

My sarcasm detector has finally broke. “That Guy from the Netherlands” (talk) 14:32, 8 April 2019 (UTC)