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Numbers and Symbols

  • Do not begin a sentence with a number unless it identifies a calendar year.
    Example: Three little piggies went to market.
    Example: 2001 would be a great year for a space odyssey.

Use Figures:
  • For cardinal and ordinal numbers 10 or greater, and fractional numbers 10 or greater.
    Examples: There were four of us at the meeting. The correct answer is 14-1/2.

  • For hours of the day.
    Example: 1 p.m. (not 1:00 p.m.); 4:30 a.m.

  • For dates, omit d, th and st.
    Example: The meeting will be on July 1 (not July 1st).

  • For dimensions, distances, degrees of temperature and percents in scientific use.

  • For election results, times in races, scores, proportions, page numbers, chapters, street numbers and serial numbers.

  • For sums of money when using a dollar sign or the word cents.
    Examples: $4,480, $24, $3.06, 5 cents
    The dollar sign is used on round sums of millions or greater.
    Examples: $1 million; $3.8 million; $2,350,000
    When citing even dollar amounts, do not use zeros.
    Examples: $5, not $5.00

  • For cumulative grade-point averages.
    Examples: 3.0, 2.5

Do Not Use Figures:
  • For fractions that stand alone.
    Examples: one-third, three-fifths

  • When writing rounded figures of 1 million or greater. Use the written word to replace the zeros.
    Examples: two million, 18-1/2 billion, five trillion

  • In casual uses, especially within direct quotes.
    Example: We had about a hundred students.

Symbols
  • In copy that contains many numbers and in non-narrative copy where space is at a premium, use %. In other copy, use percent.

  • Do not use the ampersand except in titles such as company names in which the symbol actually appears and in non-narrative copy where space is extremely limited.

  • Never use x to mean "by."
    Example: He lived in a ten-by-twelve-foot room.

  • Never use # for Number. Use the abbreviation No. when necessary; but it is often superfluous.

  • Never use # for pounds. Use lbs. instead.