Let's look at these two sentences:

Color blindness affects 8% of men.

That sandwich costs $8.

So why, when using the percent symbol do we put it after the word, but with money we place it before the word?

  • I'm nit-picking a bit, but '%' is not a unit of measure- it denotes a ratio multiplied by 100 for convenience, and represents the /100 required to yield the actual ratio. Variants have appeared before the number in Italian, for example. – Spehro Pefhany Feb 24 '14 at 0:39
  • @SpehroPefhany so just like Joe Z, said it is pretty much based off of where the language originated. Interesting. – BitNinja Feb 24 '14 at 2:04

This is mostly just local convention.

In some places in the world, they do put the dollar sign after the number, e.g. in French in Québec:

Ce sandwich coûte 7,50 $.

That sandwich costs $7.50.

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