Numbers


NUMERALS OR WORDS?

In nontechnical text,

  • spell out zero through nine
  • use numerals for 10 and up

two      12      23      391

Exceptions:

  • Spell out any number that begins a sentence.

Twenty-three beavers live in Coy Pond.

  • Spell out large round numbers.

forty-five thousand      ninety million

Use numerals for

  • dates, in this format    June 29, 2012
  • time 
  • people's ages 
  • course credits
  • decimal places
  • numerical data and scores
  • percentages (in sentences, spell out percent, as one word)

June 29, 2012      1:30 p.m.      1:30 in the afternoon      Emma turned 21 in March.

a 2-credit course      Donna needs 4 more credits to graduate.      0.4      2.93  

The Scots controlled the game and rolled to a 3–0 victory.
According to last week's survey, 61 percent of Gordon students voted in 2012.

Spell out and hyphenate simple fractions in sentences when they express a quantity.
When discussing the collective parts of something, omit the hyphen.

Scroll down to Fractions section for Web-specific instructions.

one-fourth of Gordon students      a two-thirds majority

Researchers roped off the four quarters of the dig site.

If a number below 10 and a number above 10 appear in the same sentence, the general rule is to use numerals for both if they refer to similar things.

If they quantify different things, express one with a word and the other with a numeral, if necessary, to avoid confusion. However, style is flexible on this point; it is fine to use words for both, or numerals for both, if this would not prove confusing.

Of the 38 debaters participating, 9 also will coach participating high school teams.

2013 is a banner year for the league, which is fielding four 12-person teams for the first time.


DATES, DECADES, CENTURIES AND ACADEMIC YEAR

Dates

In sentences, spell out months. If specifying month, day and year, use a comma as shown below. When specifying month and year only, do not use a comma. 
If the sentence continues, use a comma after the year, too.

The next class will arrive for Orientation on August 23, 2013.

Gordon College enrolled its largest first-year class in August 2012.

The storm of May 12, 2006, is known as the "Mother's Day storm."

In calendar listings and similar materials, abbreviate dates numerically using backslashes.

Use ordinal numbers—numerals plus "th," "st" or "rd"—for anniversaries and class reunion years.
Superscript the letters.
Superscripting sometimes throws off line spacing. In such cases, type the letters after the numeral at normal text level, as shown at the right below.

Gordon College's 121st Commencement      5th reunion          25th Reunion

Decades and Centuries

1800s, not 1800's

Spell out and lowercase the first through ninth century.
Use ordinal numbers for all others (including future centuries); superscript the letters. (For more on ordinal numbers, scroll down.)

1990s      second century B.C.      ninth century      10th century      21st century

Academic Year

2012–2013 and 2012–13 both are acceptable. Link the years with an en dash.

How to create an en dash >>


FRACTIONS & DECIMALS

In sentences, spell out and hyphenate simple fractions such as one-half and two-thirds.

In charts and technical material that accompany College communications, express more complex fractions in decimal form when that is practical.

If complex fractions must appear in the text of College communications, use a readable format.

When writing for the web, spell out all fractions. Specialists very familiar with a specific computer program may be able to successfully format numerical fractions in Web text, but as technical details differ by program, we will not attempt to provide instrutions here. When writing for the College website, it is fine to express fractions as hyphenated words.



MEASUREMENTS

Use numerals and straight quotes to express feet and inches.    18'3"

How to format straight quotes >>

The guidelines in "Numerals or Words?" at the top of this section apply to measurements.

  18'      18'3"      three miles      162 pounds      17.2 liters      fifteen thousand acres

When a measurement functions as an adjective, hyphenate it.

Gordon College's 450-acre campus


MONEY

Use a dollar symbol and numerals.

Except in financial documents,

  • Use only as many digits as are necessary.  
  • Combine a dollar sign, decimal numeral and word to express dollar figures of $1 million or more.
  • As a rule, spell out and lowercase the name of a foreign currency. If necessary, check online to determine the English spelling of the currency's plural form.

Tickets cost five dollars $5.00 $5.      

$450      $450.87      $457,000      $3.2 million      10 euros      1 real      55 reais    


ORDINAL NUMBERS

Use numerals plus "th," "st" or "rd" to express these types of ordinal numbers:

  • centuries from the 10th to the present, and future centuries
  • numbers of 100 and greater in official names
  • class reunion years
  • anniversaries
  • athletic seeding, and the order of finish in races or meets

As a rule, superscript the letters.

Superscripting sometimes throw off line spacing. In such cases, type the letters after the numeral at normal text level.

21st-century skills     the 109th Cavalry      25th Reunion class

Gordon College's 121st Commencement     

5th-seeded team     2nd-place-finisher    

In sentences, spell out ordinal numbers between 1 and 99.

The Fifty-first Infantry Regiment was active in the final assault on April 2, 1865.


PHONE NUMBERS

In sentences, use periods between the groups of numerals. Do not use parentheses.

For more information call 978.827.2300.

In contact information blocks, space between groups of numerals.
Omit punctuation completely.
Precede each number with an Identifying letter: P for phone, F for fax, E for email.

          P 978 827 2300

          F 978 827 4326

          E alex.donovan@gordon.edu


PUNCTUATION WITH NUMERALS

In numbers of 4 or more digits, use a comma after the thousands place.      1,005
Special case: omit the comma from SAT scores.   1260

Within any range of numbers meant to convey from A through B, use an unspaced en dash.

8:30–11:30 a.m.      January 14–28, 2013      1967–1983      pages 8–17

$120,000–$145,000
The Scots triumphed 15–11.

If you use from, to, between or a similar word in a sentence to introduce a range of numbers, link the numbers with a word—not with an en dash. Instead, use to, until or through between the numbers.

Racquetball courts are available from 7:30 through 10 p.m.


SCORES

Use numerals to report test scores and athletic scores.
Formats vary by sport. See the Athletics section of this style guide, or consult the "Sports Guidelines and Style" section of the Associated Press Stylebook (available in the Gordon Athletics and College Communications offices).


TIME OF DAY

Hours and minutes

Use numerals to express hours and minutes. If a time is "on the hour," do not enter zeros—just use the numeral representing that hour.

3:25 p.m.     3 p.m.

In material that will be printed, use small capital letters and periods for A.M. and P.M.

How to create small caps>>

On the College website (and in other media that cannot display "small caps") lowercase a.m. and p.m. 

Style is flexible regarding noon and midnight; use those words, or numerals.

12 A.M.     noon

12 P.M.     midnight

On website:  1:30 a.m.     8 p.m.

Ranges of times

In a schedule, announcement, or list use an unspaced en dash between the start and end time.

In a sentence introduce the time range with from and use to, through, or until between the numerals.

Polling hours: 7 a.m.–8 p.m.       Polls will be open from 7 a.m. through 8 p.m.