Tuesday, July 27, 2004

European Monetary Punctuation

(System of financial notation)

JAMES says:

I’ve always found the European habit of putting a comma rather than a full stop between the big coins and the little coins rather endearing. It’s one of those little differences that make popping over to the continent more of an adventure, like a greater concentration of old red-faced men eyeing you suspiciously in the street. However, since I’ve started dealing in the world of high finance (ahem) I’ve come across the startling truth. Not only do they have a comma separating the Euros from the centimes, but they have a full stop separating the thousands and the hundreds!! For instance, 12 thousand euros and 23 centimes would be €12.000,23. Now long time readers will know my feelings about bringing nationalistic sentiment into purely economic arguments, but it must be clear to anyone with eyes in their heads that in this case our friends in Bruseels are dead wrong. A full stop marks the end of something and the start of something else, whereas a comma is the continuation of something. They’ve turned reason on its head!


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