How to Pronounce a Fraction of a Percentage
Date: 07/07/2005 at 18:24:47 From: Lee Ann Subject: Fractions of Percentages Is it correct to say "one tenth of one percent" as opposed to saying "one tenth percent" for 0.1%? Why or why not? It seems wrong to refer to a percentage as a fraction of a percentage, but news people and the financial industry do it all the time. I can't seem to find out what the precedence is for this.
Date: 07/07/2005 at 22:46:10 From: Doctor Peterson Subject: Re: Fractions of Percentages Hi, Lee Ann. Both mean the same thing; neither is wrong. The reason for the longer phrase is probably the usual reason for using a longer phrase: to avoid ambiguity or possible confusion. Many people are not quite clear on what percentages mean, and might well take "one-tenth percent" as if it were just "one-tenth" (which, of course, is really 10%). So people tend to expand it to make it clear that they are using BOTH a fraction AND a percent; that is, 0.1% = 1/10 * 1% = 1/10 * 1/100 = 1/1000 I suppose you could compare this to using "a quarter OF A dollar" or "twenty-five hundredths OF a dollar", rather than just reading "$0.25" as "a quarter dollar" or "twenty-five hundredths dollars". If you have any further questions, feel free to write back. - Doctor Peterson, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
Date: 07/11/2005 at 16:42:43 From: Lee Ann Subject: Thank you (Fractions of Percentages) Thanks for the very clear answer!
Search the Dr. Math Library:
Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994- The Math Forum at NCTM. All rights reserved.