In the MSYS example
if we consider the two bytes to the left of the the decimal point,
the first byte (the one that looks like a speck of dust on your
monitor) means the digit 8, and the next byte (looks like a single
quote) means that the character is repeated 3 times. Therefore the
TOTAL is 888.23. I am just curious about what they were thinking
when they implemented this unnecessary shorthand, and it *is*
unnecessary because if the TOTAL is 12345.67, they write it out
as 12,345.67 with the comma to separate thousands. Clearly there is
no shortage of space.

Perhaps a little stupid - Have you checked the regional settings in control panel?
Sometimes milliards are coma "," and some times are dots (.) depending of the region selected.