Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Common Problems (Part 42 of 50)

When you write numbers, and means a decimal point. I earned three hundred and seventy-five dollars. Properly that means $300.75. Or I could write, I earned three hundred seventy-five dollars. I'd leave out the decimal or make it a general number such as "I earned about 400 dollars."

Not quite the same, but when some people refer to time past, they'll say, "In the year 19 and 47" or "the year 18 and 65." That may be only a Southern expression, but I hear and read it occasionally.

When I use numbers, 
and means a decimal point.


  1. I'm especially enjoying this series, Cec. Thank you for addressing those subtle details that can make a difference!

  2. This is not related, yet it has to do with numbers. What is the proper way to write numbers? Do we spell them out (one, two, three)? or do we use the actual numbers (1, 2, 3)?

  3. There is no agreed-on rule about numbers. Most publishers decide and list it in their style guide. To my knowledge, all of them write the words for numbers up to nine. (Some use ten and others go for 10.) Others write the words up through ninety-nine or even 100.

    Unless you know the preference of your publisher, use your own judgment and be consistent. You might skim other things they've published.

    I doubt that any publisher will reject you over using figures or not using them.

  4. I wonder, if this is the same in Commonwealth English? (I'm an Australian friend of Shirley Corder.)

  5. I don't know. It's definitely not a regional issue in the USA. I heard the CBS anchor say AND recently.


What are your thoughts?