My Two Cents: Making Sense Out of Cents

I’m rolling out a new semi-regular* feature:  My two cents.  Essentially, it will be a way for me to quickly give my opinion or take on a topic currently in the public discussion – or anything else I feel like chiming in on – but without doing a lot of set up or bothering to tie things up in a nice bow.

*Semi-regular = whenever I feel like it; until I get bored with the concept and stop doing it.

two cents pennies


First up:  The cents sign.

My initial thought was to title this as “My 2 (cents)” using the common symbol for cents – a lowercase “c” with a vertical line through it.  But I have absolutely no idea how to type that.  My keyboard has 115 keys, containing a combination of 83 different letters, numbers, and symbols.  But nowhere do I see the cents symbol.  I know that I can type it, (probably using some obscure combination of Shift with maybe an Alt or Ctrl), but without consulting Google, I have no idea what it takes.

Sure, there are ways around it.  You often see people refer to an opinion as their “$0.02” or “.02” but that just isn’t as easy for my simple brain to decipher.  What are you trying to say?  Two dollars?  Two hundredths?  Wouldn’t it be much easier if there was a commonly known symbol to represent cents?  Oh yeah, there is.

Or maybe the cents symbol isn’t so common after all.

So what happened to the cents sign?  Has inflation gotten so bad that almost nothing costs less than a dollar?  Who decided that the cents sign would not have a spot on computer keyboards?  How lowly do you have to be to get edged out by the caret (^) and the vertical line (|)?  It’s sad.  It makes no sense*.

*C’mon, did you think I could get through this without using a cents/sense pun?  Please.

Do they even bother teaching the cents symbol to kids anymore?  Or would a teenager be more likely to read Egyptian hieroglyphics than understand what a c with a slash through it means?

Add the cent sign to the growing list of things that make me feel old.

In case you were curious, you can type a cents symbol by simply(?) typing 0162 on the number pad while holding down the Alt key.  Like such: ¢

Assuming that publishing that symbol doesn’t blow up the internet, I’ll change the title going forward.

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