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  1. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Last journalistic question

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by dillseed, Dec 24, 2014.

    Last question.

    Many journalists format numerical ranges as such:

    a $50-60,000 a year savings
    a $50-100 a month surcharge


    (Note the omission of the dollar sign before $60,000 and $100.)

    In your opinion, can the "$50" part of the first example be construed as "fifty dollars" when it really is an abbreviated form of "fifty thousand dollars"? Do you construe it as "fifty dollars" instead of "fifty thousand" in this particular example?

    And in the second example, would you be able to readily decipher that "$50" meant "fifty dollars"?

    I think both forms are tight and succinct in expression, and I like them both — a lot.

    Are the examples in and of themselves acceptable — yes or no?

    Thank you.

    Sent from my iPhone
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2014
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    That's how I write dollar ranges, just one $. But it may differ by currency/country.
     
  3. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    It occurs to me that most journalistic publications will have a style book that will prescribe the correct format for these things.
     
  4. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I instinctively parse "$50-60,000" as "((fifty) to (sixty thousand)) dollars", not as "((fifty to sixty) thousand) dollars".

    Just write $50,000-$60,000. A journalist writes to inform the reader with maximum clarity, not to indulge in his aesthetic sense of tight and succinct expression.
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Yeah, what daemon said. I also read $50-60,000 as fifty dollars to sixty thousand dollars.
     
  6. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    I read $50 - 60000 as fifty thousand to sixty thousand. If that was a salary bracket, it wouldn't be fifty dollars to sixty thousand.

    £50 - £60000. That reads fifty quid to sixty thousand quid.

    For me, it depends on context and how many currency symbols are employed.
     
  7. DeadMoon
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    DeadMoon Contributing Member Contributor

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    $50.00 was my first thought also
     
  8. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm with Swampdog here. $50-60,000 reads as fifty thousand dollars to sixty thousand dollars to me. This is pretty standard in the UK when referring to ranges of, say, salary.

    That said if it was something more ambiguous, like the price you can pay for a bottle of whisky, then it might result in confusion.
     
  9. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    I'd be confused with a £60000 bottle of 12-year-old single malt Aberlour...
     
  10. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    The Chicago Manual of Style replied and said I should do this:

    a $50,000–$60,000 a year savings
    a $50–$100 a month surcharge


    If we used "million," we'd have to use the word "million" twice:

    a $10 million–$15 million a year business empire

    a $3 million–$5 million a year contract

    Wow! Those are clear, and there's a zero chance of ambiguity.

    They also said not to use a hyphen between the figures; use an en dash because it means "to." And no hyphens are needed in the phrasal adjectives, because they're clear enough as written without them. An additional dollar sign before the second figure was also recommended by them.

    Surprised they replied a day before Christmas!
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2014

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