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1 Numbers & numerals Lessons for copyeditors  By Jeff South VCU School of Mass Communications.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Numbers & numerals Lessons for copyeditors  By Jeff South VCU School of Mass Communications."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Numbers & numerals Lessons for copyeditors  By Jeff South VCU School of Mass Communications

2 2 In general: 4 Spell out whole numbers below Use numerals (figures) for 10 and above. 4 This applies to ordinal numbers, too:  first, second, third, 10th, 22nd, 100th...

3 3 Examples: 4 They had 10 dogs, six cats and 97 fish. 4 We saw 12 cities in four days. 4 That’s the third test this week. 4 She finished 15th in the class.

4 4 Now you try! 4 I bought (9/nine) books. 4 I bought nine books. 4 She caught (24/twenty-four) catfish. 4 She caught 24 catfish. 4 On his (2nd/second) try, he won the election. 4 On his second try, he won the election.

5 5 But there are exceptions 4 Addresses 4 Ages 4 Aircraft 4 Dates 4 Highways 4 Money 4 No Percentages 4 Speeds 4 Sports 4 Temperatures 4 Times 4 And dimensions

6 6 Use numbers for: 4 House numbers in addresses  901 W. Main St.  5 Oakland Ave.  18 E. Broad St. 4 Ages  Smith, 23, …  … 3-year-old Bobby …  … 6-month-old puppy

7 7 Use numbers for: 4 Aircraft, spacecraft  B-1 bomber  Apollo 15  Boeing Dates  Sept. 6  May 12  Dec. 25

8 8 Use numbers for: 4 Highway designations  Interstate 95  U.S. Highway 250  Route 1A 4 Monetary units  $7  5 cents  $412 billion

9 9 Use numbers for: 4 No.  Virginia Tech is ranked No  The No. 2 team is...  The United States was No Percentages  1 percent  45 percent  0.4 percent

10 10 Use numbers for: 4 Speeds  5 mph  100 mph  50 knots 4 Sports  They lost, 3-2.  He caught a 9-yard pass.  … 5 under par

11 11 Use numbers for: 4 Temperatures  5 degrees above zero  in the 80s  9 degrees below zero 4 Times  at 6 a.m.  after 11:20 p.m.  But: noon, midnight

12 12 Now you try! 4 They live at (9/Nine) Grace St. 4 They live at 9 Grace St. 4 She is (7/seven) years old. 4 She is 7 years old. 4 The (F-4/F-Four) crashed. 4 The F-4 crashed. 4 The meeting will be on May (6/Six/6th). 4 The meeting will be on May 6.

13 13 Now you try! 4 Take U.S. (1/One). 4 Take U.S It costs (10/ten) cents. 4 It costs 10 cents. 4 They are ranked No. (1/One). 4 They are ranked No. 1.

14 14 Now you try! 4 Less than (1/one) percent 4 Less than 1 percent 4 It was going (20/twenty) mph. 4 It was going 20 mph. 4 The Mets lost, (5-4, five-four, five to four). 4 The Mets lost, It was (8/eight) degrees. 4 It was 8 degrees.

15 15 Now you try! 4 At (8/eight) a.m. 4 At 8 a.m. 4 The record was minus (12/twelve) degrees, set at (3/three) a.m. on Jan. (4/4th/Fourth). 4 The record was minus 12 degrees, set at 3 a.m. on Jan. 4.

16 16 Dimensions 4 Use figures and spell out inches, feet, yards, etc. 4 He is 5 feet 6 inches tall 4 The 6-foot-3-inch man … 4 The car is 12 feet long and 5 feet wide. 4 The 9-by-12 rug 4 The storm left 4 inches of snow.

17 17 Ordinal numbers 4 Political designations  7th Congressional District  3rd Ward  12th House District 4 Court system  4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals  10th District Court

18 18 Ordinal numbers 4 Military titles and organizations  the 5th Battalion  For 2nd Lt. Bill Turner  the 101st Infantry 4 Street names  First Street … Ninth Street  10th Street, 11th Street, 22nd Street  9 Second Ave., th St., 56 E. 21st St.

19 19 Now you try! 4 She lives at seven twenty-ninth St. 4 She lives at 7 29th St. 4 A candidate in the 7th House District … 4 The Fifth U.S. District Court 4 The 5th U.S. District Court

20 20 Now you try! 4 The U.S. 11th Armored Cavalry 4 … to Second Lt. Emma Wyatt. 4 … to 2nd Lt. Emma Wyatt. 4 The building at 100 North First Avenue 4 The building at 100 N. First Ave.

21 21 Write out numbers: 4 Beginning a sentence  Twelve students were arrested. 4 Numbers under 10 (unless covered by a previous rule)  She bought seven books and two pens. 4 Fractions  Two-thirds, one-fourth, a fifth... 4 Casual numbers  It’s happened a million times.

22 22 Recast sentences 4 Don’t write:  Fifteen semester hours is the limit. 4 Instead, write:  The limit is 15 semester hours.

23 23 Now you try 4 They live on (9th/Ninth) Street. 4 They live on Ninth Street. 4 The (1st/First) Amendment 4 The First Amendment 4 I have (3/three) cats. 4 I have three cats.

24 24 Now you try 4 About (2/3 or two-thirds) of the students voted in the election. 4 About two-thirds of the students voted in the election. 4 He had (a dozen/12) reasons for missing class. 4 He had a dozen reasons for missing class.

25 25 Now you try 4 15th Street is closed, but 14th Street is open. 4 Fifteenth Street is closed, but 14th Street is open. 4 More than 3/4ths of the voters support the 1st Amendment. 4 More than three-fourths of the voters support the First Amendment.

26 26 Now you try 4 We have 1,000,000 reasons to be thankful. 4 We have a million reasons to be thankful. 4 The ambulances took 7 people to the hospital, and three needed surgery. 4 The ambulances took seven people to the hospital, and three needed surgery.

27 27 Roman numerals 4 Individuals  William Hearst III 4 Wars  World War I, World War II 4 Popes & kings  Henry VIII  Pope Paul XI

28 28 Now you try! 4 King George 6 4 King George VI 4 World War 1 ended in 1918, and World War 2 ended in World War I ended in 1918, and World War II ended in 1945.

29 29 Now you try! 4 James the Second was ousted from the British throne. 4 James II was ousted from the British throne. 4 Pope John Paul, II, is in poor health. 4 Pope John Paul II is in poor health.


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