JS Tip 90: From the Writing Workshops: Writing Numbers and Using Numerals

Two disciplines. Two approaches.

In business writing, write out numbers less than one hundred.

This is the standard for business writing.

(The guidelines change for technical writing, and the guidelines have many exceptions. This is a general discussion.)

The program has four parts.

We received twenty-two applications and scheduled eighteen of those applicants for interviews.

The dairy research lab developed 112 flavors of ice cream.

In {C}{C}{C}{C}technical writing, write out numbers less than ten.

This is the standard for technical writing.

Technical writing uses lots of numbers, and, since numerals emphasize (pop) the numbers they represent, they emphasize the purpose of the technical writing. (The reader’s brain shifts from words to numerals; the shift emphasizes the numeral.)

The pump has five rotating cams.

The project will require 12 flux capacitors.

Each line carried 220 volts.

We mentioned lots of exceptions. Use a good reference book to sort them out.

Questions? Let us know. We love this stuff. We really do.

Next week: More on numbers. “One hundred one”? “One hundred and one”? What?

And, in this holiday season, may you have much happiness. We appreciate you.