We've never really recovered from decimalisation of the currency, have we? But I thought I'd heard all the ghastly permutations such as "five pees". Until today, when I heard a radio advert (for one of the many cheap calls providers" which referred, over and over again, to "pences".

That advert must have been through many, many hands, from the person who wrote it to the people who approved it, to the director who recorded it and the actors who voiced it. Can nobody distinguish between a singular and a plural any more?

Molly Mockford
I think I've been too long on my own, but the little green goblin that lives under the sink says I'm OK - and he's never wrong, so I must be! (My Reply-To address *is* valid, though may not remain so for ever.)
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We've never really recovered from decimalisation of the currency, have we? But I thought I'd heard all the ghastly permutations ... who recorded it and the actors who voiced it. Can nobody distinguish between a singular and a plural any more?

Can nobody even read the back of a coin - "ONE PENNY", "TWO PENCE", FIVE PENCE", TEN PENCE", "TEWNTY PENCE", "FIFTY PENCE"?

Peter Duncanson
UK
(posting from u.c.l.e)
We've never really recovered from decimalisation of the currency, have ... nobody distinguish between a singular and a plural any more?

Can nobody even read the back of a coin - "ONE PENNY", "TWO PENCE", FIVE PENCE", TEN PENCE", "TEWNTY PENCE", "FIFTY PENCE"?

Golly! That one coin will fund your retirement.
Matti
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Can nobody even read the back of a coin - "ONE PENNY", "TWO PENCE", FIVE PENCE", TEN PENCE", "TEWNTY PENCE", "FIFTY PENCE"?

Golly! That one coin will fund your retirement.

Sadly that was my typo.

Peter Duncanson
UK
(posting from u.c.l.e)
Golly! That one coin will fund your retirement.

Sadly that was my typo.

I missed the typo, as well, but was athinking that the legend on the coin must be up to at least 50 billion pounds by now.

http://www.dacha.freeuk.com/sotr /
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We've never really recovered from decimalisation of the currency, have we? But I thought I'd heard all the ghastly permutations ... who recorded it and the actors who voiced it. Can nobody distinguish between a singular and a plural any more?

It may be horrible, but it's not new. OED2:
b. Applied colloq. as sing., orig. to a ‘new penny’ of the decimal currency introduced in 1971 (see penny 1), and hence gen.1971 Record (Oxf. Univ. Press) Dec. 10/2 The computer was found tobe rounding up to the nearest pence the Bank Code Numbers on the Wages Slips. 1973 Daily Tel. 24 Oct. 16 In our village shop a customer asked for some small change but the shopkeeper was unable to oblige as she was very short or ‘two pences and one pences’. 1974 Ibid. 19 Dec. 12 In shops and elsewhere I often hear the ungrammatical term ‘one pence’. I presume this is because the occurrence of a single penny is becoming a thing of the past.

1975 M. Bradbury History Man i. 3 She leads her daily deputation to the manager with comparative, up-to-the-minute lists showing how Fine Fare, on lard, is one pence up on Sainsbury's, or vice versa. 1977 Times Lit. Suppl. 29 Apr. 528/3 The new and the supplemented lexical entries equally reflect the times, with+p (but not the singular use of pence) for new penny. 1979 Daily Tel. 11 Apr. 2/1 A taxi passenger who refused to pay an extra charge of one pence on his fare+was killed by the driver, police said in Manila.

Pure speculation on my part: referring to 'new pennies' as 'pence' and 'pences' in all circumstances served to distinguish more conveniently between new money and old money (in cash rather than social terms) than 'new penny' versus 'old penny' with the traditional plurals for 'penny'.
Whatever happened to 'Fine Fare', anyway? I used to shop in the Leicester one when I lived in the UK.
Final point: ROT13 works beautifully on 'penc'.
I shall stop now.
Giles.
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Over here in America, that statement, sadly, is getting close to the literal truth.
We've never really recovered from decimalisation of the currency, have we? But I thought I'd heard all the ghastly permutations ... who recorded it and the actors who voiced it. Can nobody distinguish between a singular and a plural any more?

Hi,
I'm not a native speaker, can anyone tell me the differences between penny, pees, pences ??
It seems to me that most people use "pees" for the plural and "penny" for the singular ? is it correct ?
Thanks,
JS
I'm not a native speaker, can anyone tell me the differences between penny, pees, pences ??

"Penny" is singular, "pee" or "pees" is horrid (see below), "pences" is the equivalent of referring to "sheeps" since "pence" is the correct plural form.
It seems to me that most people use "pees" for the plural and "penny" for the singular ? is it correct ?

I think that most people use "pee" for both singular and plural. It began when we switched to decimal currency in 1971. Previously pence had been indicated by the abbreviation "d" (for denarii). To distinguish the "new" pence from the old, the abbreviation "p" was introduced. People at once began talking about so many "pee". This is vile. Even Americans know enough to say so many cents, not so many "c". (If any of my American friends should read this, I'm only teasing.)
John Hall
"If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts,
he shall end in certainties." Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
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