Guide_to_Using_Numbers - 8.0 Numbers Numbers enter the...

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8.0 Numbers Numbers enter the documents you write in a variety of ways expressions of quantities, dates, fractions, percentages, scores, and times, to name just a few. Some numbers should be spelled out in words, others represented by numerals; specific rules govern each choice. A long list of additional style decisions only adds to the potential confusion. This chapter can help you identify the clearest style for all your numerical information. 8.1.0 Words vs. numerals Writing numbers as words or numerals depends on whether the surrounding text is technical or nontechnical. 8.1.1 In nontechnical text * Spell out whole numbers from one through one hundred. * Spell out any large round number a number followed by hundred, thousand, million, and so on. * For all other numbers, use numerals: three invoices four-by-six cards fifty-seven applications a hundred bricks 101 Dalmatians three hundred co-op sites 374 parents 1, 985 biology professors three thousand protesters two million undergraduates 3, 501, 400 miles Exception : Use a combination of numerals and words for large round numbers in excess of a million. a $168 million endowment For quick and easy clarity, numerals may sometimes substitute for words in running text.
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Ambiguous : Northeastern University researchers submit two to three hundred patent applications each year. Clearer : Northeastern University researchers submit two hundred to three hundred patent applications each year. But even clearer : Northeastern University researchers submit 200 to 300 patent applications each year. Numerals may not begin a sentence; rewrite to avoid. Incorrect : 121 international students lived in Speare Hall last year. Correct : Last year, 121 international students lived in Speare Hall. 8.1.2 In technical text or measurements To express numerical information in mathematical, statistical, or scientific text, always use numerals. 9 centimeters 14 square feet 240 volts 5 degrees Celsius 8.2.0 More than one number in a sentence To ensure parallelism, whenever several numbers modify the same kind of item or group within a sentence, style them the same way, either as words or numerals. The style for the larger numbers governs the lesser ones; the style for specific numbers governs round numbers. We interviewed 136 men and 55 women for the provost's position. Last quarter, 125 students registered for Professor Cohen's social theories class; next quarter we expect about 200. Make sure, however, the numbers are modifying the same kind of items or groups; if they do not, a parallel style is not necessary. I've heard that three engineers discovered 234 errors in the building's plans.
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8.3.0 Adjacent numbers To ensure readability whenever two numbers occur next to each another, spell out one number, and use a numeral for the other. When one number is a unit of measurement, make it the numeral. Juan is taking two 4-credit courses during the summer quarter.
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This note was uploaded on 02/03/2009 for the course BEE 489 taught by Professor Timmons during the Spring '09 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Guide_to_Using_Numbers - 8.0 Numbers Numbers enter the...

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