- Pound sign
seealso|Pound (currency).The pound sign ("£" or "₤") is the symbol for the
pound sterling—the currency of the United Kingdom(UK). The same symbol is (or was) used for currencies of the same name in some other countries and territories; there are other countries whose currency is called "the pound", but that do not use the £ symbol.
Both symbols derive from capital "L", standing for "librum", the basic Roman unit of weight which is in turn derived from the
Latinword for scales or a balance. The pound became a British unit of weight, and the pound currency unit was so named because it was originally the value of 1 pound Tower Weight (326 g) of fine (pure) silver.
In English-language use, the pound sign, like the
dollar sign("$"), is placed before the number (i.e. "£12,000" and not "12,000£"), and separated from the following number by no space or a thin space.
The symbol "₤" is also known as the lira sign. In
Italy, prior to the adoption of the euro, the symbol was used as an alternative to the more usual L to indicate prices in lire (but always with double horizontal lines). Other nations, such as Syria, continue to use the lira, and thus the lira sign, as denotation of their currency.Fact|date=May 2008
The symbol "£" has
Unicodecode point U+00A3 (inherited from Latin-1) [http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U0080.pdf] . It has a HTMLentity reference of &pound; and has an XML decimal entity reference of &#163;.
The symbol "₤" has Unicode code point U+20A4, decimal entity reference &#8356;.
Prior to the introduction of the
IBM PCthere was no unique accepted standard for entering, displaying, printing, or storing the £ sign in the UK computer industry. On personal computers prior to the PC the "#" key was often used; sometimes it was displayed on screen as "#", but many printers could be set up to print "£" where "#" was sent to the printer by an application program. Keying in, storing, displaying, and printing the sign often required special setup. The "#" sign is sometimes called "pound sign" in non-sterling countries.
BBC Microused a variant of ASCIIthat replaced the backtick("`", character 96, hex 60) with the pound sign ( ISO/IEC 8859had not yet been standardised, and it was advantageous to have commonly-used characters available in the lower, 7-bit ASCII table), denoted as CHR$96 or (hex) CHR$&60. Since the BBC Micro used a Teletextmode as standard, this means that the pound sign is in the 7-bit ASCII variant used on Teletext systems such as Ceefax, ORACLE and Teletext Ltdtoo.
UK keyboard layouthas the "£" symbol on the 3 number key, where an American keyboard has the number sign("#").
The symbol "£" is in the
MacRomancharacter set and can be generated on most non-UK Mac OSkeyboard layouts which do not have a dedicated key for it, typically through Option+3. Under Microsoft Windowsit can be generated through the Alt keycodes 0163 and 156, and in MS-DOSby Alt-156.
Compose keysequence is 'L' and '-'.
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