Euro usage in English?

These darn cross-linguistic issues are going to drive me batty.

Please explain the proper usage of the word “euro” (the currency, not the prefix) in the English language. Should it be capitalized? If so, in all situations, or just certain ones? Is the plural “euro,” “Euro,” “euros,” or “Euros”? Citing your sources would be helpful, too, as the plethora of legalistic minds in my office will surely want to know what authority I am obeying; otherwise, they’re likely to think I’m just listening to Euro-trash.

Thanks, Euro-folks!

Simple. Go to the EU homepage and you’ll find it. Took me three minutes. € is only spelled with capital letter at the beginning of a sentence. Plural is euros (in English). More info on the website of EU.

In Ireland, they’re going for “Euro” plural, but even worse “cent” plural. E.g. “that’ll be 20 Euro and 40 cent”. AFAIK it was to get round the fact that different languages pluralize differently. Stupid, I call it.

Regarding the word “Euro”, some people are starting to call them “yoyos”, which I like, and many people are using the old slang for pound, “quid”, to refer to Euros.

Thanks, guys; it’s just that at work, I’m supposed to synthesize all sorts of stuff written by non-native English speakers, both involving the euro and otherwise. Most of what these people write is highly technical and jargon-filled, so it’s very hard for me to judge their proper technical usage (or lack thereof), and since they’re usually writing about topics I know little to nothing about, they sound awfully authoritative to me (except for obvious mistakes like missing articles or subject/verb agreement problems). My job is to make their descriptions of what they do intelligible to an INS officer, who is usually in a rather insular office in the cornfields of Nebraska. Even if INS is clueless about the accuracy of what I write, as someone who is primarily a linguist by education I’d at least like to be accurate and not make a fool of myself.

And even the native English speakers aren’t always terribly consistent in their usage of terms like euro (darn engineers!). And my stupid American keyboard doesn’t have a euro symbol on it anywhere, although maybe my next work computer will be less obsolete. Otherwise, I’d just use the symbol in most cases and hope for the best.

Try holding down the Alt Gr key at the same time as the key that you use to make the dollar sign (on my keyboard it’s 4) - that does the following for me: €.

On the same site I refered to in previous post, there is a patch to get the € - Alt Gr + E. That’s how it is on my keyboard by default.

So the EU is now going to legislate the usage of the English language? I don’t think so. They can legislate French and German if they like but not English, much less American English.

I say euro follows the rules for any common name just like dollar, dinar, buck, peso, etc.

In my keyboard, I get the euro sign by holding the right ALT key and pressing 5: €

>> In my keyboard, I get the euro sign by holding the right ALT key and pressing 5: €

I forgot to say I have my keyboard configured as American English International (so I can make all sorts of things like ¿, ñ, é, etc)

Did you check the link I provided?

The EU can, of course, not legisslate language. They can, however, issue policies and guidelines for the ECB. Remarkably, the guidelines say that ‘euro’ should be treated the same way as dollar, pound ASF.

So what’s your problem?

My tongue got stuck in my cheek and I can’t get it free. It happens fairly often too.

Well, I have no Gr key, and I’m getting a new(er) computer tonight after I leave, so I’m not going to bother reconfiguring anything until Monday. The problem is only partially getting my keyboard to behave; I’m also going to have to convince my boss, and probably the other attorneys in the office, of what proper and commonly accepted usage is, and in this case, it seems like “proper” may not always coincide with “commonly accepted.” We need some consistency throughout our office, at least, and it looks like I’ll be the trendsetter, because so far I’m the only one who seems to give a damn.

Wish me luck!

Good luck.

BTW, its not a ‘Gr’ key. It’s ‘Alt Gr’ on one key - just to the right of the space bar.

>> I have no Gr key

Eva Luna, in some keyboards it is marked ALT-GR but that does not matter it is just the right hand ALT key.

You can try ALT+0128 as well.

Thanks guys! I have no Alt-Gr key; oh well. I despair at the prospect of getting my co-workers to deal with inserting symbols consistently, anyway. So the geek side of my brain may figure it out, just for kicks, but I think we’ll just end up spelling it out.

You may say that; the Irish government, however, says otherwise. Since Ireland is the only English-speaking nation to have the euro, maybe this should be taken as the default? Personally, I disagree with their decision, but when in Rome…

I don’t know who actually read the EU document, but it’s not nearly so clear cut. While admitting that eventually the plural “euros” will probably prevail, it states that currently

**My guess is that the Irish government is omitting “s” simply to be consistent with their earlier usage. When the original decision was made, it probably appeared that the dictate of Brussels would become widespread practice. I doubt the UK will follow their lead, assuming they adopt the euro at some point.

Eva may appreciate the following article, written by an Irishman lamenting the disregard for linguistics which led to the original regulations.
The new currency and Ireland

Speaking of Rome…some friends (American) were there a few months back, and they all use euro as the singular and plural. “I paid 15 euro for the shirt,” “Can you spot me a euro?,” etc.

Cooool! Thanks! Eva Luna, you can use that with a US keyboard. I just did!!! Thanks, Bookkeeper!


Having a background in engineering and then accounting, it comes naturally to me to use the singular of all units, including money. That’s the way it is done in engineering and that’s how we did it in budgeting and accounting too.

regarding the € sign I can do it from my keyboard easily but I often avoid it and write out “euro” because the sign is not an ascii sign like $ but a unicode sign which requires several bytes and is often messed up by the software so someone ends up seeing garbage instead of the correct sign. It does not work in ascii (non-HTML) email for instance. So most of the time I find it easier to just spell the word out.