12/27/2007

Mr. Rewrite's $0.02 on dollars and cents

Who says there are no good buys left out there? Mr. Rewrite found this smokin' deal at the commissary. At the posted price, he could walk out with every bag of chips in this picture for 9 cents!

Let's keep dollars and cents straight when writing out prices. It isn't unusual to see a small business post a 0.99 cent sale, but that's wrong, wrong, wrong unless the price truly is less than a penny.

The correct format, of course, is "75 cents" or "$0.75." That's Associated Press style and pretty much everyone else's style.

Another AP style point: If you're dealing with any price involving cents, even an amount less than 10, use the numeral rather writing it out (i.e. "3 cents," not "three cents."). This is a fairly common error on Google News: one cent; three cents; four cents; five cents; six cents; seven cents; eight cents; nine cents.

Mr. Rewrite will hold his virtual nose and leave "my two cents" alone.

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