Nicholas Bodley scripsit:

> Nevertheless, I was astonished to see the name of a local Chinese
> restaurant (Beijing Star, iirc) rendered horizontally RtoL. Just one
> more stage in casual self-education...

Yes, they do that now and again. I used to think this could be interpreted
as top-to-bottom style with columns of length 1, but that won't explain
all the cases.

> [ "20$" ]
> Many centuries of tradition has placed the dollar sign just to the
> left of the most-significant digit (MSD) of the amount, preventing
> the handwritten value from easily being fraudulently increased by
> adding a digit.

How could that be the explanation? 20$ could be changed to 120$, but
then $20 could be changed to $200.

> I have even seen the dollar sign as a small subscripted suffix, and think I
> can remember an instance of its being embedded (5$.79).

Several countries use the style "5$79"; I suggest that is probably what
you saw.

> (Btw, I have read that "hexadecimal" is not a learned spelling;

No, the spelling's fine; the objection to the word is that it's a Latin-Greek
hybrid. (But so is "television".) There is a legend that IBM engineers
wanted to use the properly Latin form "sextidecimal", but couldn't get it
past their own marketing department.

John Cowan jcowan@...
"'My young friend, if you do not now, immediately and instantly, pull
as hard as ever you can, it is my opinion that your acquaintance in the
large-pattern leather ulster' (and by this he meant the Crocodile) 'will
jerk you into yonder limpid stream before you can say Jack Robinson.'"
--the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake