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OT currency (was Re: Quoting styles (was Re: Antipassive?))

From:Peter Collier <petecollier@...>
Date:Thursday, May 29, 2008, 8:17
--- Keith Bertelsen <conlang@...> wrote:

> > A friend, who collects currency, explained to me > that the purpose > > for varisized currency is so that blind people can > tell denominations > > apart by touch. > > I always thought that it was the > cash-register-manufacturers lobby, myself. After > all, changing the sizes of currency would require > all the cash registers to buy new bill-holding > trays.
Not so my friend, the trays are all the same size here, even though the notes differentiate by size (and colour). You have heard the story about Isaac Newton, and his cat flap(s), I presume?
> Personally, since I use a money clip, I much prefer > my bills to all be the same size (so they align > better). Different colors to make them easier to > distinguish would be a great idea, but I'm usually > close enough to tell the faces/numbers apart > anyways. > > Coins, however, I like to be different sizes; then > again, I'm far more likely to try to pick out coins > without looking than I am bills. This is also why I > (and a lot of people) don't particularly care for > the new dollar coins: they're too close to quarters > to reliably distinguish them by touch.
I've never had a problem in my frequent trips right of pond - diffent diameter, different depth, different colour, smooth edge versus milled, different picture. I can easily separate them without looking (not that I get the $1 coins that often...). I really struggle to comprehend the locals' problems with it. Then again, the UK's small change is coin based, whereas the US's is note based. I really struggle with the concept of having to fish out a couple of bank notes even to pay for a newspaper. I think the reason so many people reject the coins over there is that they are of no practical value. If the coin/note boundary was similar to many other places, you'd lose the penny and nickel, you'd have regularly circulating coins for 50c $1, $2 and $5, and your smallest bill would be the $10. If you only have 4 coins, 2 of which are effectively valueless individually, and of the other 2 the lower value one is as small as a shirt button, and the higher value one is still of such low value you'd think twice about looking for it if you dropped it and it rolled away - you can easily see why the notes would be preferred! P


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>