Since then the â€˜%’ has gone from strength to strength, and today we revel in a whole family of â€œper â€”â€”â€”â€”â€ signs, with â€˜%’ joined by â€˜â€°’ (â€œper milleâ€, or per thousand) and â€˜â€±’ (per ten thousand). All very logical, on the face of it, and all based on a fundamental misunderstanding of how the percent sign came to be. Nina and I can comfort ourselves that we are not the first people, and likely will not be the last, to have made the same mistake.
I love stories like this. The history of our punctuation marks and symbols is often quite fascinating.