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Numbers/Figures

Figures
Use figures for numbers 10 or greater; write out figures less than 10

Nearly 40 people attended the gathering. Only four people came to class.

Days of the month
Use figures for days of the month, omitting st, nd, rd, and th:

September 28 (not September 28th)
December 22 (not December 22nd)

Large figures
Use figures for sums that are cumbersome to spell out; however, spell out the words million and billion.

The campaign received a $3.25 million gift. (Not 3,250,000 million)
China has a population of roughly 1.9 billion.

Measurements
Use figures for measurements

6 feet
15 inches
9 cubic centimeters
33 percent (don't use 33% in a sentence)

Ages
Use figures for ages more than 10; spell out if less than 10.

The child is five years old.
For a 12-year-old student, she sure knows her history
The average student age at the college is 20.

Telephone numbers
Write phone numbers as follows:

  • Always list area codes and local exchanges on the Web since some visitors will be attempting to call from off campus.
  • Use parentheses around area code and space after (e.g., (603) 641-7000)
  • Avoid listing only extensions on the Web (e.g., x6164 or ext. 6184), since the college uses multiple local exchanges (641, 656, and 222). Include the local exchange to assist Web visitors (e.g., 656-6164)
  • Also list toll-free numbers in parenthesis for consistency (e.g., Call us at toll-free at 1(888) 4ANSELM.)

Time
Use figures for hours of the day:

5 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. (never 5:00 p.m., unless used in lists of events to preserve alignment of type).

Money
Use figures for amounts of money with the word cents or with the dollar sign (i.e., $5, $5.25, $.77 or 77 cents) unless tabulated in columns.

Numbers at the beginning of a sentence
Do not begin a sentence with numerals; supply a word or spell out the figures. Please note: numbers less than 100 should be hyphenated when they consist of two words:

Two thousand people attend the college.
Eighty-eight percent of our students live on campus.
One-half of the class was late.