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    #1

    the meaning of the wavy sign ~

    “The cost would be ~$200.”

    My understanding is that, in America, the wavy sign “~” in the above sentence means “approximately $200”. Is this understanding correct? That is my first question. My second question is, if it is so in America, is it universal among English-speaking countries?
    (A Japanese lady interpreted it as meaning “up to $200” so I know the meaning is at least not completely universal in the entire world.)

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    #2

    Re: the meaning of the wavy sign ~

    Quote Originally Posted by Ju1ian View Post
    “The cost would be ~$200.”
    My understanding is that, in America, the wavy sign “~” in the above sentence means “approximately $200”. Is this understanding correct? I believe so, but wait for an American to confirm. That is my first question. My second question is, if it is so in America, is it universal among English-speaking countries? It is in Canada.
    (A Japanese lady interpreted it as meaning “up to $200” so I know the meaning is at least not completely universal in the entire world.)

    in canada...
    < $200 means less than or equal to 200 dollars; not more than 200 dollars
    > $200 means equal to or more than 200 dollars; not less than 200 dollars
    2006

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    #3

    Re: the meaning of the wavy sign ~

    It is used, but I don't know think that it's something everyone would recognise in the UK.

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    #4

    Re: the meaning of the wavy sign ~

    Yes, as an American, I would use ~$200 to mean, "approximately $200."

    But I don't know if the common man would know what it means. I am in a technical field.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: the meaning of the wavy sign ~

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    It is used, but I don't know think that it's something everyone would recognise in the UK.
    I certainly wouldn't.
    I don't think I have ever seen it used this way.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: the meaning of the wavy sign ~

    Quote Originally Posted by Ju1ian View Post
    “The cost would be ~$200.”

    My understanding is that, in America, the wavy sign “~” in the above sentence means “approximately $200”. Is this understanding correct? That is my first question. My second question is, if it is so in America, is it universal among English-speaking countries?
    (A Japanese lady interpreted it as meaning “up to $200” so I know the meaning is at least not completely universal in the entire world.)
    In mathematics, ≈ means "approximately equal to".
    But the ASCII fonts only allow ~.
    In medicine, it means 'about', as in: P irreg. ~72 = Pule rate is irregular and about 72 beat / minute.
    I always assumed it was a commonly used notation, but apparently not.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: the meaning of the wavy sign ~

    I thought it was common too.

    ~$200 could be anything from about $185 to $215–200, I'd say.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #8

    Re: the meaning of the wavy sign ~

    "~" for "approximately", "more or less" is used even when "≈" is available (as in handwriting). "≈" is a relation of between two things and means "approximately equals". "~" means just "approximately". That's at least the usage I encountered.

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    #9

    Re: the meaning of the wavy sign ~

    I don't think it's common in the UK- it's certainly not a standard thing that everyone knows.

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    #10

    Re: the meaning of the wavy sign ~

    I use that symbol as an emoticon @_@

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