Exactly how much do those chips cost?

How would you write three pounds and fifty pence in figures?

When walking through central London at the weekend, I noticed something slightly unusual about the menu pinned up outside the Golden Fleece pub:

Menu at the Golden Fleece

I thought it was odd, but assumed it was a one-off. Then I spotted the same thing on the menu in another pub, the Founders Arms:

Menu at the Founders Arms

I confess I am a bit baffled by this. For years I have been insisting that my students give money answers to two decimal places. Admittedly there are a few cases where two decimal places may not be appropriate, for example the price of petrol in the UK is always given to 3 d.p. but the final price that you pay would still always be rounded to 2 d.p. Surely that should be the case here, these are prices, in context – so 2d.p would be expected.

I don’t know why these pubs are presenting their prices in this way. Is it a fad? A new trend? Hopefully it’s not an attempt to mislead.

I do know that I will be including these images in my lessons in future. £3.5 may be a non-standard way of writing three pounds and fifty pence, but it’s one that any student with a good understanding of place value should be able to interpret.


Originally posted on my professional blog: Real Life Maths–exactly how much do those chips cost?

2 comments to Exactly how much do those chips cost?

  • Cyder, ale gravy, tabbouleh…I think you have stumbled into the world of the gastrolounge pub. (n.b. the tatare is probably a spelling mistake)

    Sure, there’s a few mushy peas and fries too, but the pricing on the menu reassures that this is a place to be seen in.

    Look out for butternut and mint samosas, tzatziki, cornichons and be aware that ‘jus’ is just so 2014.

    Happy New Year! from http://rashbre2.blogspot.com

  • Lois Lindemann

    And a belated happy New Year to you! Sorry for the late reply, thought I had left a reply already, but am obviously going quietly mad. Wibble.

    Have to say that ‘jus’ on the menu (along with ’emulsion’) is usually enough to scare me off eating in a place. Butternut and mint samosas sound nice though. 🙂