Why Do We Put Money First?

One of the big drivers of our culture’s economic incongruity is our unhealthy obsession with always putting money first. It is no great surprise we do so due to the fact we’ve been incorrectly trained to do it every time we’ve been called to write a monetary amount. It may very well be our seemingly simple practice of putting the dollar sign before the amount has thrown us off kilter.

29836532For example, when we write out “ninety-nine dollars”, the common practice is to write it as “$99” even though that expression actually reads as “dollars ninety-nine.” Wouldn’t it be more practical to signify this monetary value as “99$” so as to avoid this ingrained dyslexia? After all, “ninety-nine percent” is written as “99%”, and “ninety-nine cents” is written as “99ยข”.

Why do we favor the dollar sign so much we continually put it before the number, causing a jog in our brain each time we read it by having to mentally correct the misplaced symbol? Perhaps this simple incongruity is a factor in our economic disparity, causing us to unconsciously regard the dollar as more important than it actually is. Were we to put the dollar sign in its rightful place, after it’s numerical value, would we be able to discern the importance of other things more readily?

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