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Old 05-13-2019, 08:52 AM
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The lost art of the dollar sign


I have been seeing more and more people in casual writing (message boards, texts, Facebook, tweets) putting the dollar sign after the amount, like 100$, instead of the traditional $100.

Is this just an error/eccentricity, or did I miss a memo?
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:14 AM
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I have been seeing more and more people in casual writing (message boards, texts, Facebook, tweets) putting the dollar sign after the amount, like 100$, instead of the traditional $100.

Is this just an error/eccentricity, or did I miss a memo?
In our modern use of symbols (inc numbers, letters, emoticons & leetspeak ) are used in place of words. The use of $ means and is a substitute for the word ' dollar(s)' and is not being used as the symbol for dollars, so in that usage $100 is wrong, as that would mean 'Dollars 100', though correct if $ is used as a symbol.

Much of this came, evolved from txting, and on 'dumbphones' where one was limited to characters and inputting text was awkwardly done on a phone keypad.

Last edited by kanicbird; 05-13-2019 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:19 AM
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By the excellent metric of the google search the proper standard still reigns. "$10" gave me 480 million results, "10$" just 16 million.
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:54 AM
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Something related I'm seeing is the use of $10 million dollars, so the word dollars is represented twice. I suppose it makes sense if you intend dollars squared. Otherwise, it's redundant.
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:57 AM
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10$ is correct in French. I doubt all who use it are French though.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:08 AM
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10$ is correct in French. I doubt all who use it are French though.
They use dollars in France?

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Old 05-13-2019, 10:25 AM
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Something related I'm seeing is the use of $10 million dollars, so the word dollars is represented twice. I suppose it makes sense if you intend dollars squared. Otherwise, it's redundant.
Yeah, I see that quite a bit.

Another one I've also seen a few times recently is a the use of numbers instead of a word to represent non-specific large numbers.

So, instead of "There were thousands of people in the crowd," I've seen people write "There were 1000s of people in the crowd."

There were one thousands of people? What the hell does that mean?

Example 1

Example 2
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:55 AM
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10$ is correct in French. I doubt all who use it are French though.
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Originally Posted by running coach View Post
They use dollars in France?

I noticed this when I was in Quebec a few years ago.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:42 AM
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By the excellent metric of the google search the proper standard still reigns. "$10" gave me 480 million results, "10$" just 16 million.
"Just" 16 million? That's still a lot of hits.
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:44 AM
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10$ is correct in French. I doubt all who use it are French though.
Shouldn't that be "10 $"
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:57 AM
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They use dollars in France?

They're sure happy enough to take our Foreign Aid in dollars!
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by kanicbird View Post
In our modern use of symbols (inc numbers, letters, emoticons & leetspeak ) are used in place of words. The use of $ means and is a substitute for the word ' dollar(s)' and is not being used as the symbol for dollars, so in that usage $100 is wrong, as that would mean 'Dollars 100', though correct if $ is used as a symbol.

Much of this came, evolved from txting, and on 'dumbphones' where one was limited to characters and inputting text was awkwardly done on a phone keypad.
"Wrong?" By analytical reasoning (granted), but if this "wrong" way has been written forever the analytical justification, as so many cases in historical linguistics, never stood a chance.

Do you have any chronology of the orthography? [Not a "cite?"-as-jab, just an interest from your post.]

ETA: I opened the thread because I thought it was about the handwritten sign. A while ago I realized for the last 40 years I've been writing a G clef instead of what I assumed was a graceful fast stroke for a dollar sign.

Last edited by Leo Bloom; 05-13-2019 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by kanicbird View Post
In our modern use of symbols (inc numbers, letters, emoticons & leetspeak ) are used in place of words. The use of $ means and is a substitute for the word ' dollar(s)' and is not being used as the symbol for dollars, so in that usage $100 is wrong, as that would mean 'Dollars 100', though correct if $ is used as a symbol.

Much of this came, evolved from txting, and on 'dumbphones' where one was limited to characters and inputting text was awkwardly done on a phone keypad.
Then there would be a space between the 10 and the dollar sign, that is, if the dollar sigh represents the word 'dollars'.

Along those same lines I have to consistently explain to my employees that .99 isn't correct. I can't tell you how many times I've had to say "decimal point or cent sign, but not both". The replies I get are typically either 'it's the same thing' or 'what's the difference'. Yes, I'm nit picky about it, but I think it looks uneducated. In any case, I've learned that if they don't at least understand that there's a difference, trying to explain that .99 is less than a penny won't sink in.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:01 PM
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As long as they don't write $100 dollars, I'm good with it.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:24 PM
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Redundancies like "$100 dollars" are what I was referring to upthread.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:30 PM
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Redundancies like "$100 dollars" are what I was referring to upthread.
Just adding my own .02 cents $.02.
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:25 PM
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They're sure happy enough to take our Foreign Aid in dollars!

What foreign aid does the US send to France?
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:27 PM
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10$ is correct in French. I doubt all who use it are French though.
It's quite common in much of continental Europe to do it that way (with the currency symbol following the amount) - even though in Britain, the usage is pretty much the same as in America, and the symbol is almost always placed in front of the amount rather than after it.
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:36 PM
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"Just" 16 million? That's still a lot of hits.
Yes, but it's only 3% of the total.
  #20  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:20 PM
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Just adding my own .02 cents $.02.
2

I miss that symbol being on the keyboard. Yes, I learned to touch-type in the 80's. (ALT155 if you're interested)

Last edited by NotherYinzer; 05-13-2019 at 03:21 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 05-13-2019, 03:23 PM
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2

I miss that symbol being on the keyboard. Yes, I learned to touch-type in the 80's. (ALT155 if you're interested)
Same here. Now I can't remember which key it was on.
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Old 05-13-2019, 03:59 PM
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naita, don't you mean %3 of the total?
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:31 PM
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naita, don't you mean %3 of the total?
In case anyone is wondering, Chronos is referring to post 19#.


mmm
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:03 AM
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I miss that symbol being on the keyboard. Yes, I learned to touch-type in the 80's. (ALT155 if you're interested)
So much easier to remember that is option-$ (actually, option-4, since option-$ is really option-shift-4) than it is to remember alt codes. I don't understand why Windows never developed a more Mac-like keyboard, where nearly all of the extended ASCII characters are logically mapped.
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:35 AM
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It isn't just currency symbols ($ has the same problem as ㄔ€ etc) but is also a problem.
1慢 is wrong. Should be 1 C (or K, F, R etc). Angles still get to be , but you get into all manner of problems with how you are specifying an angle anyway. (My day job involves two systems that specify both angles and geographic locations. Both specify all angles in radians, but one uses N = 0, and positive clockwise, the other E = 0 and positive anticlockwise. It can be a source of evil problems.) Not to mention relative, true, magnetic.

I have a habit of writing down currency values as things like $2k. Which is awful. But probably no worse than 2k$ in some ways.

Then you get abominations like $2 USD
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:37 AM
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2
Why not 2?

That's not snark, by the way. It's a real question that I don't know the answer to.

If the dollar sign comes before the value, why does the cent sign come after it?
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:55 AM
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I have been seeing more and more people in casual writing (message boards, texts, Facebook, tweets) putting the dollar sign after the amount, like 100$, instead of the traditional $100.

Is this just an error/eccentricity, or did I miss a memo?
The reason you see it in casual writing is because people are not writing sentences, but rather transcribing their speech in real-time. Since one says "one hundred dollars," and the brain is coming up with the words extemporaneously, people naturally write the "100" first, and only after realize they should have included the $ sign first. Since the message is casual, expediency wins out over convention, so the person just says "fuck it, I don't feel like deleting 3 digits and starting over so I'll put the $ sign after since they'll still know what I mean."

Last edited by KidCharlemagne; 05-14-2019 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:02 AM
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Something related I'm seeing is the use of $10 million dollars, so the word dollars is represented twice.
It really gets under my skin when people do that.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:49 AM
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Along those same lines I have to consistently explain to my employees that .99 isn't correct. I can't tell you how many times I've had to say "decimal point or cent sign, but not both". The replies I get are typically either 'it's the same thing' or 'what's the difference'. Yes, I'm nit picky about it, but I think it looks uneducated. In any case, I've learned that if they don't at least understand that there's a difference, trying to explain that .99 is less than a penny won't sink in.
http://verizonmath.blogspot.com/2007...-customer.html
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:27 AM
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1慢 is wrong. Should be 1 C (or K, F, R etc).
Why is it wrong? I know that 1摘 is wrong because the Kelvin is a unit, but the degree Celsius is the unit for the Celsius scale so 1慢 is fine. Same for Fahrenheit.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:56 PM
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10$ is correct in French. I doubt all who use it are French though.
So ten francs is 10f, oui? How about Euros?
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:02 PM
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Why not 2?

That's not snark, by the way. It's a real question that I don't know the answer to.

If the dollar sign comes before the value, why does the cent sign come after it?
My guess is that it gives additional differentiation between dollars and cents.

You'll sometimes see a similar system with dates. CE 1500 or AD 1500, but 1500 BCE or 1500 BC.
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:16 PM
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So ten francs is 10f, oui? How about Euros?
Sometimes written as 10 and sometimes as 10 in continental Europe.
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:35 PM
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So ten francs is 10f, oui? How about Euros?
Surely 10 F or 10 is more common? Someone ought to look in Brossard's Correcteur typographe for a comprehensive treatment.
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:02 PM
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Sometimes written as 10 and sometimes as 10 in continental Europe.
The European Union was doomed from the beginning!
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:16 PM
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What foreign aid does the US send to France?
Almost all countries:


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The U.S. disbursed $33.2 billion$19 billion in economic assistance to 184 countries and $14.2 billion in military assistance to 142 countries.
Even Canada

Some to France, but not much
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:55 PM
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Almost all countries:




Even Canada

Some to France, but not much
The biggest part of the "Aid" to Canada appears to be the parts of money for a joint Canadian/US environmental protection program that is paid to entities that happen to be Canadian.

The "Aid" to France appear to be tiny parts of big government programs that are paid to French entities, although it's difficult to say exactly whom, since whomever is receiving the money in France isn't listed.

It's definitely a rubbish definition of "Foreign aid".
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:26 PM
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Why is it wrong? I know that 1摘 is wrong because the Kelvin is a unit, but the degree Celsius is the unit for the Celsius scale so 1慢 is fine. Same for Fahrenheit.
Ack. Quite correct. The symbol for Celsius is 慢 not C. Whereas the symbol for Kelvin is just K.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:53 PM
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Why not 2?

That's not snark, by the way. It's a real question that I don't know the answer to.

If the dollar sign comes before the value, why does the cent sign come after it?
Write a number and another number on the same piece of paper. Write an identifying symbol between them. Which does it refer to?

$ is big, is little. The hierarchy makes sense here.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:08 PM
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Write a number and another number on the same piece of paper. Write an identifying symbol between them. Which does it refer to?

$ is big, is little. The hierarchy makes sense here.
I'm not understanding. Can someone help me out with this explanation?
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:38 PM
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Yeah, I see that quite a bit.

Another one I've also seen a few times recently is a the use of numbers instead of a word to represent non-specific large numbers.

So, instead of "There were thousands of people in the crowd," I've seen people write "There were 1000s of people in the crowd."

There were one thousands of people? What the hell does that mean?
Strictly speaking, speaking of 1000s of people would only be correct if there are groups of 1000 people.

Like speaking of pairs of people. I.E. sets of two.
1000s would then be sets of 1000


But I can guarantee you that this is not what they meant when they wrote "1000s"..

Last edited by MarvinKitFox; 05-15-2019 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:44 PM
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I'm not understanding. Can someone help me out with this explanation?
I think he means this:

5c10
5$10

Which symbol is associated with which number?
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Old 05-15-2019, 02:52 PM
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By the excellent metric of the google search the proper standard still reigns. "$10" gave me 480 million results, "10$" just 16 million.
10$ "About 15,300,000 results (0.48 seconds)"

"In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 150 already displayed.
If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included."

10$ "About 15,600,000 results (0.43 seconds)"

"Page 39 of 390 results (1.17 seconds) "

Last edited by SCAdian; 05-15-2019 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:00 PM
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I think he means this:

5c10
5$10

Which symbol is associated with which number?
I did get that far. I just don't understand the logic afterwards. Without other reference points, to me, neither symbol is associated more with the preceding or the following number. I don't understand what "$" is "big" and "" is small has to do with it. Are we talking size of the symbols themselves? That's arbitrary. "$" is written quite small often, and "" can be written quite large. And, even so, what does size have to do with whether the symbol follows or precedes the number? I don't get the explanation at all.

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Old 05-15-2019, 03:07 PM
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I think he means this:

5c10
5$10

Which symbol is associated with which number?
Brossard cites page after page of historical examples and variations, including "125 fr. 75" (also 1f15 and similar), 2m,006, 4kg,415, but a quick glance does not reveal anything like "5c10" where the abbreviation is of the fractional unit.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:15 PM
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Ah. I see. I don't know either. Size shouldn't matter. But placing the dollar sign before, and the cent symbol after has been the common style forever.

I used to correct my kids text messages all the time for 10$.
They get it now. But I see it all the time in the wild.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:17 PM
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The best answer I can dig up to the "cents" vs "dollars" question is that it's simply convention in English. The currency symbol ($) comes first, but "" isn't really a currency symbol in the same sense $ is (the currency is the US dollar, and cents are just parts of the currency), so that's why they come at the end, to differentiate the currency symbol from merely a symbolic shortcut for the word "" or something like that. (Perhaps analogizing "" to "#" like how 30# means "thirty pounds" or something like that.) That's just one possible explanation, though I don't see any definitive reasoning for how the convention came about.

However, in other countries it is not unusual to put the currency marker after the number (see how in Quebec, which also uses dollars, you will see prices with the dollar sign after the number. like in this ad to subscribe to a newspaper. Or the Euro symbol which also comes after the number. Looks like both these have already been mentioned.)

So, it's just convention in the end.

Last edited by pulykamell; 05-15-2019 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:24 PM
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Or the Euro symbol which also comes after the number.
Rather, the Euro symbol comes after the number in most non-English styles.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:35 PM
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As long as we're at it I don't care for 10+ to mean "over 10" as in "10+ years of experience" on a resume.
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:41 PM
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10$ "About 15,300,000 results (0.48 seconds)"

"In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 150 already displayed.
If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included."

10$ "About 15,600,000 results (0.43 seconds)"

"Page 39 of 390 results (1.17 seconds) "
Was one of those supposed to be $10?

Here's what I get, still:

With quotes in google (otherwise you get anything with 10 in it for the 10$ search):
"10$" About 15,300,000 results (0.58 seconds)
"$10" About 475,000,000 results (0.52 seconds)

Bing doesn't want to search for just 10$, even with quotes, and duckduckgo doesn't give me a number of results.
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