Re: Numerals vs. Spelled-Out Numbers

Subject: Re: Numerals vs. Spelled-Out Numbers
From: "Parks, Beverly" <ParksB -at- EMH1 -dot- HQISEC -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 1997 12:54:42 -0700

Michael Barwick[SMTP:mbarwick -at- RCI -dot- ROGERS -dot- COM] wrote
>_The Elements of Technical Writing_ by Blake & Bly on page 22 states
>"Rule 1. Write out all numbers below 10." Thus, the correct form is
>three French hens, two turtle doves, etc. rather than 3 French hens, 2
>turtle doves etc.
>It seems obvious to me (just typing the numerals above made me queasy)
>but others at my company think the rules change when content moves to
>the Web and/or marketing copy doesn't have to follow the rules.

I can't imagine any reason why this rule would be different for web
pages. As far as exceptions go, there are some that are understandable.
For instance, if there was only one number under 10 in a list of larger
numbers, I might use a numeral for it just for consistency: 432 calling
birds, 37 French hens, 2 turtle doves. That technically breaks the
rules, I admit. Also, for marketing information, such as in a table, I
would use numerals:

40 calling birds
3 French hens
2 turtle doves

(sorry about the columns being all crooked.)

But to ignore a rule just because the medium is a web page...tHaT dOeS
nOt cOmPuTe.

Bev Parks
parksb -at- emh1 -dot- hqisec -dot- army -dot- mil


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