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Style Chapter 15: Numbers
vandanagoyal wrote in visionindia2047

It is inevitable that certain numbers - dates, age, measurements etc,  will be part of your writing.

Some guidelines to follow when writing numbers:
  • Any number less than nine should be spelt out.55 bags, four pens, eight men.
  • When numbers appear together, combine numerals and words to avoid confusion.5 seventh-floor flats,  Eight 60-Watt bulbs.
  • Prefer million and billion to lakhs and crores. In the global media age, audience can be gloal and we should follow international standards.
  • Approximate numbers above a million should be written as numeral and word. About 1 million not about 1000000.
  • Fraction figures should be written as words. One quarter of the pie, a sixth of the students, a half of the bottle. They should also be hyphenated when appearing like this: six-seventh.
  • Use hyphen for 'to' when it appears between figures, not between words. 20-25 people but not six - eight cars.
  • Ages should be in numerals. The minister, 48, is survived by his wife ,35 and a son, 7.
  • Do not begin a sentence with a numeral. Number should either be written in words as in Fifty two people attended the wedding or the sentence should be rewritten. Instead of saying 5000 copies were sold of the first edition, it can be rephrased as The first edition sold 5000 copies.
  • All modifying numbers maybe written in numerals. 120kmph, 20 percent, page 67.
  • Unit of measurement when qualifying a noun should be in numerals and be separated with a hyphen.50-foot barge, 30-cm ruler, 10-minute delay.
  • When many numbers are involved, use all numerals. The Fibonacci sequence 0,1,1,2,3,5,8....forms the basis of many mathematical formulae.
  • For decimals use numerals.1.68, 2.05.
  • Dates should be written in numerals and without ordinals. February 14, 2009. Not February 14th.
  • For money write in numerals. Rs. 35.50 apiece. Also write  Rs.180 or Rs. 180.25 but not Rs.180.00.
  • While comparing do not mix fractions and percentages. It is wrong to say that There were 62.5 % men  and only 30½ % boys under nine.
  • For a ratio qualifying a noun, figures and hyphens should be used. 60-40 proportion.
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