1. Sarita Noel
    Offline

    Sarita Noel Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0

    Writing out measurements

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Sarita Noel, Oct 5, 2013.

    Hi all,

    I'm having problems tracking down how to write out measurements.

    "A 2 ft by 2 ft box about 18 inches deep is about right." is the phrase in question. Have I written it out correctly? Or should I spell out the number two since it's less than ten? Do I abbreviate "foot" ?? Do I use an "X" instead of "by"?



    Ugh, I just don't know!
    Thanks for your thoughts.... if you could point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it. I like to use Purdue Owl since it's what my editors favor, but couldn't find what I needed there. (Or I was looking in the wrong spot.)
    This is really the first article that has measurements in it, hence my frustration. LOL
     
  2. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    Have you checked here?
     
  3. Sarita Noel
    Offline

    Sarita Noel Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I checked that link out and all it seems to mention (that pertains to me) is not to put a period after ft when abbreviating. The question is, should I abbreviate? I'm thinking that I'm going to go with 2 ft x 2 ft, unless someone chimes in that knows for sure that that's wrong. Thanks!
     
  4. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    The only time I've seen units of measurements abbreviated is in science/engineering papers. In most other cases, I would imagine you would write it out, though I'm not 100% sure on this. As far as numbers are concerned, the Chicago Manual of Style says to write out all numbers less than and including 100. If that's not the style guide you follow, then I would consult another one.

    By the way, what exactly is this for? If we knew that, then we might be able to be of more help.
     
  5. Sarita Noel
    Offline

    Sarita Noel Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's an article that I'm writing for Constant Content on a vermicomposting project. Basically a "how-to" type of article. Thank you for your feedback. I'm assuming you meant all numbers up to 10? Not 100?
     
  6. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    No, I meant 100. The CMoS says 100. But like I said before, if there's another style guide you have in mind, go with that. The good thing about the CMoS is that it's used by a lot of people, so you can't really go wrong with it.
     
  7. Sarita Noel
    Offline

    Sarita Noel Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    As far as I'm aware, Constant Content is fine with whatever style I want to use, as long as I'm consistent.

    *Sigh*

    I still don't know what I'm going to do. I've posted the same question on the CC forums, so maybe someone will come up with something there.
    So, according to the CMoS, I'd write it "two ft x two ft"? That just doesn't look quite right to me. Maybe I should just change the sentence to omit the measurements. It's not a critical part of the article and I could get away with it, but now I really want to know! I'm sure it will come up again in the future, anyway. I'm a new writer for CC, just having had nine articles accepted and one sold. I'm still really paranoid about getting those rejections and possibly getting booted from the site. I feel CC has some very real potential once I build up a portfolio of articles.
     
  8. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    If it were me, I would go the formal route and spell out all numbers under 100 (like the CMoS says) and spell out units as well ("two foot by two foot box").
     
  9. Sarita Noel
    Offline

    Sarita Noel Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks guys... I think I will go ahead and spell everything out. FWIW, Constant Content directs us to Strunk & White, Harbrace Harcourt, and Purdue Owl. I think those are more MLA and APA.
     
  10. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    since it's for an article and a 'how-to' then you would use the numbers, since that's what readers would go by in following your directions... it would make no sense at all to spell them out...

    if it's for a work of fiction, it would have to be spelled out...
     
  11. Sarita Noel
    Offline

    Sarita Noel Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you, Mammamaia. I haven't submitted the article yet, so I'll go ahead and change it. It looks better written 2 ft by 2 ft, anyway... should I spell out "foot"?
     
  12. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    no, you don't have to write it out if it's directions for making something...

    can even be 2' x 2'

    check out other articles in the same publication to see what's the norm...
     
  13. Sarita Noel
    Offline

    Sarita Noel Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I submitted already and wrote it "A two foot square box about eighteen inches deep." We'll see what the editor thinks, I guess....

    Thanks for your input, everyone.
     

Share This Page