Percent vs. PercentageDate: 08/17/2002 at 20:14:15 From: Alex Subject: Math What's the difference between percent and percentage? Date: 08/18/2002 at 09:25:56 From: Doctor Sarah Subject: Re: Math Hi Alex - thanks for writing to Dr. Math. Percent and percentage are often confused in both speech and writing. From Merriam-Webster Online: http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary percent 1 plural percent a : one part in a hundred b : PERCENTAGE (a large percent of his income) percentage 1 a : a part of a whole expressed in hundredths b : the result obtained by multiplying a number by a percent 2 a : a share of winnings or profits b : ADVANTAGE, PROFIT (no percentage in going around looking like an old sack of laundry -- Wallace Stegner) 3 : an indeterminate part : PROPORTION 4 a : PROBABILITY b : favorable odds The use of percent for percentage is becoming more and more common: The Columbia Guide to Standard American English http://www.bartleby.com/68/11/4511.html percent, percentage (nn.) "Percentage is the more widely accepted noun, especially in Edited English, but Informal use of percent (What percent of your time do you spend watching TV?) seems thoroughly established...." But see Prof. Charles Darling's online Guide to Grammar and Writing (recommended): http://ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/notorious2.htm "We use the word percent as part of a numerical expression (e.g., Only two percent of the students failed.). We use the word percentage to suggest a portion (e.g., The percentage of students who fail has decreased.)." This is the preferred usage for written English. - Doctor Sarah, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ |
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