What to write: per cent, percent, or %? Respected style guides disagree.
As I write Tech Universe I frequently come across paras like this:
My question is: why on earth do so many publications write 'per cent' as words rather than using the much loved (by me) % symbol. It seems to me 37% is instantly clear, easy to read, plain and simple, while 'per cent' and 'percent' aren't.
Can you shed any light on this? Any plain language thoughts?
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This question has often puzzled me too. Guess people learn that early in life as a "rule" (sarcastic quote marks, of which I strongly disapprove) early in life.
The writer was following this dubious principle: use the (US) word instead of the symbol in prose, even if you give the number in numerals.
I've had a quick flick through some of my style guides and found ambiguity, contradictions and wriggle room.
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:-) Mud, glorious mud!
Thanks for all that. What a splendid mess!
Image of fuchsia buds: You like it? Help yourself.