Tuesday, October 20, 2009

10 Rules for Writing Numbers

We got into a discussion on a beta group recently about the rules for writing numbers. I see writers very often trying to take short-cuts by using numerals instead of writing them out. I usually correct that when I'm betaing.

Here's an article that can help with that question. It's called 10 Rules for Writing Numbers and Numerals and is found on DailyWritingTips.com.

Here are some of the rules:

  1. Numbers versus numerals. The number is the quantity, the numeral is the symbol.
  2. Spell out smaller numbers. Some sources say anything under 10, some day anything under 100.
  3. There aren't any other rules. All the "official" sources disagree. However, I definitely lean toward writing out.
  4. Use the comma and the decimal. but know how to use them right. The US and Europe use them in opposite ways; know which one you need.
  5. Never start a sentence with a numeral. First words are always spelled out.
  6. Spell out centuries and decades. It's the eighties, not the 80's.
  7. Spell out related words. Use 5 percent, instead of 5%.
  8. Spell out estimations. About four thousand, not about 4000.
  9. Two numbers next to each other. I had a party with eight 12-year-olds
  10. Spell out ordinal numbers. That was the tenth rule.

I hope y'all find this helpful; I did.