Re: one vs 1

Subject: Re: one vs 1
From: Lauren <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
To: Deborah Hemstreet <dvora -at- tech-challenged -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 17:55:04 -0700

Deborah Hemstreet wrote:
> Hi All,
> I've written a brochure for a company to distribute to their employees.
> I am in somewhat of a dilemma: Corrections have been returned and they would
> like all numbers to be printed as numbers (1 not one).
> However, the RULES of writing say to spell out all numbers less than 10.

In most cases, it is appropriate to spell out numbers one through ten,
however, in scientific, math-oriented, or quantity-focused documents,
written numerals may be easier to read. I have seen numbers spelled
with the written number in parentheses. The style guide of the company
dictates the convention since documents written by different authors
need to be consistent with each other, regardless of whether the
original documents used an incorrect style. I have worked places where
documents were prepared before a professional technical writer came on
board and the style was to match the older documents, rather than fix
all of the documents to a common style. Some style guides require that
numbers one through ten are spelled out, except in the case of time,
days, and quantities.

> When writing a statement such as: "There is a one week waiting period (seven
> consecutive calendar days)"... I have to be honest, I believe the target
> audience will absorb the information better as: "There is a 1 week waiting
> period (7 consecutive calendar days)"...
> What do you think?

One week is either 5 or 7 days. (You see, here it makes more sense to
use numerals for days rather than words because there is a comparative
quantity issue.) A one week waiting period should specify whether it is
a calendar or a business week and the parenthetical expression should
further explain the exact number of days.



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one vs 1: From: Deborah Hemstreet

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