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¤

Punctuation

apostrophe ( ' )
brackets ( [ ], ( ), { }, ⟨ ⟩ )
colon ( : )
comma ( , )
dashes ( , , , )
ellipses ( , ... )
exclamation mark ( ! )
full stop/period ( . )
guillemets ( « » )
hyphen ( -, )
question mark ( ? )
quotation marks ( ‘ ’, “ ” )
semicolon ( ; )
slash/stroke ( / )
solidus ( )
Word dividers
spaces ( ) () () ( ) () () ()
interpunct ( · )
General typography
ampersand ( & )
at sign ( @ )
asterisk ( * )
backslash ( \ )
bullet ( )
caret ( ^ )
copyright symbol ( © )
currency generic: ( ¤ )
specific: ฿, ¢, $, , ƒ, , , , £, , ¥, , ,
daggers ( , )
degree ( ° )
ditto mark ( )
inverted exclamation mark ( ¡ )
inverted question mark ( ¿ )
number sign/pound/hash ( # )
numero sign ( )
ordinal indicator (º, ª)
percent (etc.) ( %, ‰, )
pilcrow ( )
prime ( )
registered trademark ( ® )
section sign ( § )
service mark ( )
sound recording copyright symbol ( )
tilde ( ~ )
trademark ( )
underscore/understrike ( _ )
vertical/broken bar, pipe ( |, ¦ )
Uncommon typography
asterism ( )
falsum ( )
index/fist ( )
therefore sign ( )
because sign ( )
interrobang ( )
irony mark/percontation point ( ؟ )
lozenge ( )
reference mark ( )
tie ( )

The currency sign (¤) is a character used to denote a currency, when the symbol for a particular currency is unavailable. It is particularly common in place of symbols, such as that of the Colón (), which are absent from most character sets and fonts. It can be described as a circle the size of a lowercase character with four short radiating arms at 45° (NE), 135° (SE), 225°, (SW) and 315° (NW). It is slightly raised over the baseline.

It is represented in Unicode, as CURRENCY SIGN (U+00A4). In HTML, the character entity reference ¤ or numeric character reference ¤ may be used.

The currency sign was once a part of the Mac OS Roman character set, but Apple changed the symbol at that code point to the euro sign (€) in Mac OS 8.5. In non-Unicode Windows character sets, the euro sign was introduced as a new code-point. In the Unicode character-sets of Mac OS, Windows and Unix, the two symbols each have unique code points.

The symbol is available on some keyboard layouts, for example French, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish keyboards, because it is used in business applications.

Contents

History

The symbol appears in the Linear A and Linear B scripts, representing the number 1000.

The symbol was first encoded for computers in 1972, as a replacement for the dollar sign in national variants (ISO 646) of ASCII and the International Reference Variant.[1] It was proposed by Italy[2] to allow an alternative to encoding the dollar sign. When ISO 8859 was standardized, it was placed at 0xA4 in the Latin, Arabic and Hebrew character sets. There was not room for it in the Cyrillic set, and it was not included in all later added Latin sets. Latin 9 (in particular) replaces it with the euro sign.

Context dependent meaning

This character plays the role of the SUB (substitute) control character of ASCII, but is specific to currency.

Even when it is appropriately used, it has an inherent ambiguous meaning; ¤12.50 can be interpreted as 12.5 units of some currency, but the currency itself is unknown, and can only be determined by information outside the use of the character in itself.

More likely, this sign was intended to mark the position of the national currency symbol into the national variants of ASCII (7-bit, 95 printable characters available), where a specific national body was reluctant to accept the dollar sign ($) as a kind of "universal sign" to denote "currency" or "money". The currency sign ¤ should then be replaced by the appropriate glyph, depending on audience (ƒ, ₤, ₧, ¥, etc). But somehow, the neutral currency sign (¤) was to be used as a printable symbol in itself, and this usage was sufficient extended in the years of the first drafts of ISO 8859 to include it.

There can be a problem if having a currency symbol on the same code in different languages. If, for example, an amount of £100 is written in an e-mail it could be interpreted as ¥100 and so on.

Other usages

  • Alternative separator in CSV files
  • Delete sign when typing on paper for later OCR processing
    • ¤ means delete previous character
    • ¤¤ means delete previous word (i.e. back to previous space character)
    • ¤¤¤ : delete entire line
  • In Microsoft Word, the currency sign is used to indicate the end of a table cell in some viewing modes.
  • On the Xbox 360, the currency sign becomes the Microsoft Points symbol when entered.
  • In some versions of BASIC (notably in Soviet versions and ABC BASIC), the currency sign was used for string variables instead of the dollar sign. It was located on the keyboard at the same position as the dollar sign is now.


References








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