RE: AP style for negative numbers?

Subject: RE: AP style for negative numbers?
From: Linda Stark <stark_linda -at- att -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 9 May 2012 18:58:25 -0500

HELP! I'm working on a paper that refers to a negative number, and I'm somewhat brain-dead at the moment. I subscribe to the AP Style Guide online and can't seem to log in, so I called them a couple of hours ago to see what the problem is. Since then I've waited for at least two hours. This paper must be done tonight, so I turn to you all. PLEASE help!

The sentence is: "Using this data, the project has an NPV of ($269,016) with a return on investment in 4 to 5 years."

I assumed the parentheseswere done by the author to indicate she should come back to verify the number, but no - she says they're there because it's a negative number. Those parentheses really bother me, but I can't cite why. What does AP say about using negative numbers in text? Is it correct as is? What should it be?

Like I said, at this point in the day, I'm drawing a total blank and not having access to the AP website at the moment, I haven't a clue why it looks so wrong.

Linda S. Stark
Stark Clarity, LLC
621 SW 160th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73170
405.759.3974 / 405.410.8520
http://www.starkclarity.com





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