Re: Numerals and Bullets

Subject: Re: Numerals and Bullets
From: Wolf Lahti <wduby -at- PACCAR -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 1996 07:40:33 -0800

>Greetings Folks: I have a question about the use of numerals. I
>understand that style rules say spell out whole numbers between zero
>and nine and use numerals for 10 and above. But what if the number is
>linked to a particular measurement...


A number used 'as a number' is generally not spelled out.


>And a question on bullets: When using a bulleted list, is it proper
>to capitalize the first letter of the first word in each item even if
>they are not complete sentences? And what about punctuation? I say
>semicolons to separate them if they are complete sentences and commas
>if they are not. Thanks for your comments.


Bulleted complete sentences should begin with a capital and end with a
period. The manner of formatting a list on the page does not change the
rules of punctuation.

Having said that, I immediately contradict myself and say that a list of
non-sentence items, bulleted or ordered, does _not_ have its elements
separated by commas, and any conjunctions are deleted. For instance, "bread,
butter, jam, and onions" becomes

* bread
* butter
* jam
* onions

There is also the convention that states if any item of a list forms a
complete sentence, then all the items in the list should have periods
(exclamation points? question marks?). This is logically indefensible, but
it is the way things are done.

Formatted lists should not be led into with a colon unless you would use a
colon if it were inline text. A lead-in such as "Frank had the following for
breakfast:" calls for a colon, but "For breakfast, Frank had" does not.
(This stylistic convention is one I often see violated, so your mileage may
vary.)




---------------------------------
"I hate quotations!"
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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