# a better expression for 'percentage divided by 100'

The function f(a,x) returns the value in the array a specified by x, where x is a percentage of the length of the array, divided by 100.

(i.e. x can be any number between 0 and 1, corresponding to a percentage between 0% and 100%)

Examples: if a = [1,2,3,4,5], then f(a, 0.5) = 3; f(a, 0) = 1; f(a, 1) = 5;

Is there a better way to express that some variable is a 'percentage divided by 100'?

Preferably I am looking for a single word.

Alternatively a phrase, and a single word that can be used later on to reference that phrase.

My first idea was 'fraction', but I am not sure whether that conveys the concept.

I am looking for a term for the first item in this list:

• ?, [0-1]
• ?, [0-10]
• percent, %, [0-100]
• per mille 0/00 [0-1000]
• basis point, permyriad 0/000, [0-10000]
• Percentages are literally the values between zero and one already. It's just when we use it with the percent sign, we scale it by 100. Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 9:22
• so i could just call it 'percentage' and a reader would understand that to be a value between 0 and 1? Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 9:25
• No, you would need to call it a fraction of the length. Percentages go from 0 to 100. Or, rewrite the function to use a percentage; or maybe even both (x < 1, it's a fraction; 1 < x < 100, it's a percentage) Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 9:25
• Using percentage can be confusing easily. Fraction is good, e.g. "widget moveto fraction: Fraction is a real number between 0 and 1. The widget should adjust its view so that the point given by fraction appears at the beginning of the widget." Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 9:31
• @ HugoRune: Can you give a numerical example of what f(a,x) is returning. I ask because by definition n % = n/100 & you have stated "x is a percentage....,divided by 100" which means x%/100 = x / 10000. Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 11:06

In similar circumstances, the term I usually see is 'proportion', or sometimes 'ratio'. You need to clarify your sentence though, how is the reader to know that if the array a has five elements and x = 0.5, then f(a,x) returns the third element of a and not the second?

Normalized to range [0,1].

This is the usual approach, and you rarely find values normalized to other ranges.

A percent divided by one hundred is a basis point, or 1 per ten thousand. Like similar units (percent 0/0, per mille 0/00 etc), it can be expressed as 0/000.

So, you could possibly say "where x is a basis point value."

The basis point is also less commonly called permyriad.

EDIT: If you want to represent a percentage value as a fraction value between 0 and 1, you may perhaps want decimal fraction. The number 61/100 (61%) can be written as the decimal fraction 0.61.

• Slight misunderstanding: I am looking for a word to describe a value between 0 and 1; a unit that is a 100 times larger than a percent. This basis point is a unit that is a 100 times smaller than a percent, a value between 0 and 10000. Nevertheless very interesting, I did not know these terms before. Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 10:56
• So do you perhaps want decimal fraction? The number 61/100 (61%) can be written as the decimal fraction 0.61. Edit added to answer above.
– long
Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 11:10
• That could be it, yes Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 11:15
• @HugoRune When you say that a value between 0 and 1 is 100 times larger than a percent, what exactly do you mean by that? Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 4:11

You can say: ..., where x is a positive proper fraction of the array length.

I am facing the same naming problem when creating variables/fields for rates in order to disambiguate a number which might be scaled in different ways.

Basis Point and Percentage are clear and unequivocal, but I can't find a good name for the representation where for example 0.1 actually means 10%.

Best I have been able to come up with is "Mathematical", "Formal Decimal" or "Quant Decimal".

• Hi @John, the site prefers that answers be supported. Can you please edit your answer to explain why your three suggestions are good answers to the question? Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 16:03
• Hi @Lawrence. As I said in my entry, I have not been able to find a good answer. I don't think my suggestions are very good. The thinking behind "Quant Decimal" is that when interest rates are being manipulated in Quant libraries (in financial firms) a "10%" rate is expressed as "0.1". Normalized/Normalised (as suggested above) would be great if it wasn't for the fact that interest rates can be outside the [0,1] range. Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 11:39
• Thanks, that helps. It would be useful to link to such a definition from your answer. Welcome to EL&U, by the way. Have a look at this post about what the site is trying to achieve by requiring answers to be supported. Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 11:47