Origin of the Percent SymbolDate: 02/12/2002 at 21:09:18 From: Travis Beaton Subject: Percent symbol Where did the percent symbol originate? My teacher thinks it was from the sign for the number 100 with two zeros on each side of the 1, but I am not sure. Date: 02/12/2002 at 23:34:53 From: Doctor Peterson Subject: Re: Percent symbol Hi, Travis. According to D. E. Smith, _History of Mathematics_, the sign originated in 15th-century manuscripts as o o per c or p c for "per cento" or "per hundred." By the mid-17th century it was o per --- o and later the "per" was dropped. Later it was tilted into what Smith calls the "solidus form, %", since "/" is called a solidus. I seem to recall somewhere reading that it was originally "numero per cento" in Italian, which was written as o / n / c using the solidus for "per," as in a fraction; the c closed up to form a second o, while the n disappeared. I can't think what book that could be from, if not from Smith; but Smith apparently doesn't agree. So this may just be a figment of my imagination. - Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ |
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