Re: Write out numbers -- or not?

Subject: Re: Write out numbers -- or not?
From: <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: "Pinkham, Jim" <Jim -dot- Pinkham -at- voith -dot- com>, "Brigitte Johnston" <bjohnston -at- humantech -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2007 15:33:00 -0400

Jim Pinkham wrote:
> This sounds like a classic case for a stylebook. If you have a house
> stylebook and it addresses the issue, follow that. If not, follow
> whatever stylebook is commonly used in-house (e.g., Chicago Manual of
> Style, AP, GPO, industry-specific etc.) ...

In the absence of better direction, I would also recommend a stylebook.
This time, though, the original is well constructed and easy to understand.
The contrast between the two styles for writing numbers adds, I think,
to the clarity. To hell with the stylebook, whatever it may say!

I've noticed that among US journalists there is a tendency to present
all measurements in US "English" units even when it makes no sense.
For instance, temperatures near absolute zero are best expressed in the
Kelvin scale, wavelengths of light in nanometers. Degrees Fahrenheit or
inches convey no better understanding, even if they are what the
stylebook demands.

--Peter Neilson


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