Am I the only one who is bothered when I see “twenty cents” written with both a decimal point and the cent sign, as in “.20¢”?

I see it everywhere. On a restaurant menu: “Add guacamole for .50¢.” At the grocery store: “Apples for .99¢ a pound.”

There are two ways to represent 20 cents: 20¢ and $0.20. The two should not be combined. Both .20¢ and .20 cents are incorrect because they represent an amount that is less than one cent.

  • “20¢” means twenty cents.
  • “$0.20” means twenty cents.
  • “2¢” means two cents.
  • “0.2¢” means two-tenths of a cent.
  • “0.02¢” means two-hundredths of a cent.

I keep on saying—usually to my daughter or husband—that one of these days, I’m going to go up to the cashier and produce a single penny to pay for an item marked “.99¢.”

Now … if I could get people to stop writing “$20 dollars.”

I’m curious: What common errors bother you? Do you have any similar pet peeves? Please share!

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