1. LastTrainHome
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    LastTrainHome Member

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    Numbers

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by LastTrainHome, Oct 16, 2009.

    Okay, as far as I am aware, when writing numbers in fictional text if the number is a single digit then you write it out as a word, ie you would write 'two' as opposed to 2.
    If the number is bigger than ten then you write it out in digit form. As in, you would write 31 as 31, unless it is at the beginning of the sentence, in which case you'd write it out in word form.
    However, I came across a situation when I was writing that left me a little confused, so I would appreciate some clarification.
    If I were to write 7% correctly according to the rules I am aware of, then it would read seven% which to me just doesnt look right. So in these kinds of circumstances, is it accpetable to write 7%, or would it need writing out as seven percent?

    Sarah
     
  2. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

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    Generally you should write out the numbers and words properly. Seven per cent, eighteen budgies, etc. It might just be personal preference, but I've always preferred to do it that way, as it's always seemed more professional and I've seldom seen figures and symbols used like that in normal prose, especially not in dialogue.
     
  3. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Seven percent.

    But typically in fiction, you write thirty-one and not 31. But you write 1,292.

    Or as Maia has said, if it is dialog, you write it out because we speak in words not numerials.
     
  4. LastTrainHome
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    LastTrainHome Member

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    OKey doke, Thank you for clearing it up :)

    Sarah
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    well put, arch!
     
  6. Mo Yeongsu
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    Mo Yeongsu Member

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    Maybe a little redundant with what Arch said, but I've always been taught and, for the most part, seen it done as writing out any number less than 100 and anything larger is better to be written as numerals.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    it isn't the size of the number that determines whether it should be spelled out, it's the complexity. !,000,000,000 is much larger than a hundred, but it should still be written as one billion. Likewise, 7,000,022 should be written as seven million and twenty-two. But if the number is much more complicated to spell out, then it should be written in digits. Nearly always, the numbers you will encounter in fiction will be appropriate to write in words.
     
  8. apathykills
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    apathykills Contributing Member

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    That is one surprised looking billion.
     
  9. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    I've always been told to write all numbers in words.
     
  10. Mo Yeongsu
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    Mo Yeongsu Member

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    Would you really write 1,672,841.63 as a word? That's what Cog is trying to explain: complicated numbers can be both a pain to read and then it forces the reader to work on putting that into numerals in their head because we really don't think of numbers in words.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there's no always or never in re how to write numbers. . . read what cog said and follow it. . .
     

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