The Scribe’s Tip: Money – It’s a Gas!

As Pink Floyd once observed, “Money, it’s a gas/Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.”  So today let’s talk about money, and more specifically, how to express dollars and cents in your writing.

First, when referring to dollars, use a dollar sign—don’t spell out “dollars”:

  • Correct:       $2 million
  • Incorrect:   $2 million dollars
  • Incorrect:   2 million dollars

And second, please leave cents out of your writing unless you are referring to mixed dollar and cents amounts:

  • Correct:      The judgment awarded $49,150.35 in damages and $945.32 in costs.
  • Correct:      The judgment awarded $49,150.35 in damages and $945.32 in costs.
  • Correct:      The judgment awarded $49,150 in damages and $945 in costs.
  • Incorrect:   The judgment awarded $49,150.00 in damages and $945.00 in costs.

Finally, at the risk of stirring up controversy, the Scribe must point out that Pink Floyd got one thing wrong.  Although they sang, “Money, so they say/Is the root of all evil today,” the actual saying—often attributed to ancient Greek poet Phocylides—is “The love of money is the mother of all evils.”  (Yes, the Scribe is aware that the saying also appears in 1 Timothy 6:10, but Phocylides said it first.)

That is all for now …

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