by:   J.H.M. Bonten

First date of publication: 04 april 2007
Last date of modification: 04 april 2007

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In most countries the currency symbol is given as a sequence of one or more ordinary Latin letters. Examples: DM = Deutsche Mark, Fr = Franc, K = Krone, and so on. In a few countries a special symbol is used for indicating the currency. Example: $ = USA-dollar.

In the source text of a computer program often a text constant is given. This is a string of characters opened and closed by a quote (') or double quote ("). Such a text constant as part of the source text is called a LITERAL.

Out of the special currency symbols only the dollar symbol can be written in such a literal. The first reason is that right in the USA the computer technology had its steepest rise from its beginning. This rise was boosted by the NASA moon-rocket program. The second reason is that at the Bretton-Woods conference in 1944 the dollar was established as the standard currency for the international trade.

Both facts were caused by World-War-II that enabled the USA to take over the economical, technical, political, financial, moral and military superiority over the world from Europe.

At present the special currency symbols of the other countries can be entered in a text string often only by using a sequence of steering characters that must be generated by the program during run time. This is a fairly cumbersome way and in many languages it cannot be applied in a literal.

This should be more simple. Here a proposal is given to enter each special currency symbol in a literal. It is dollar sign followed by an ordinary letter. Now the dollar sign acts only as the universally well-known symbol for money. The letter is the one that is visually near the desired symbol. Example: The letter S is visually near the dollar symbol $.

This idea results in the following listing:

sequence  symbol  meaning
--------  ------  -------
  $       error   stand-alone dollar sign has no meaning.
  $$        $     USA dollar
  $S        $     USA dollar
  $C        ¢     USA dollar-cent
  $F        ƒ     Dutch florine (= guilder = DFL = NLG)
  $O        ø     Danish ore (= krone-cent)
  $L        £     British pound
  $Y        ¥     Japanese yen
  $E        €     European euro

In a fictitious language the program sentence:
         PRINT("Both the symbols $S and $L are currency signs.")
results on the printer in:
         Both the symbols $ and £ are currency signs.
But the sentence:
         PRINT("Whilst the symbol $ is not.")
is in error.

The Dutch florine and the Danish krone are not legal money any more. They are replaced by the European euro. The exchange rates between the different types of currency in Europe are listed in a table in a list of measurement tables.

====    ¥    $    ƒ    ø    ¢    €    £    ====

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