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26
votes
3answers
7k views

Is two-thirds plural?

Is 2/3 always, sometimes or never plural? E.g. 1a) 2/3 of the pizza were eaten. 1b) 2/3 of the pizza was eaten. 2a) 2/3 of the visitors were men. 2b) 2/3 of the visitors was men. I ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

Plural/singular verb agreement with units

When writing about specific quantities, should the verb reflect a singular or a plural value? Do abbreviations vs. spelled-out words make any difference? I took 2 ml of water, which was/were then ...
4
votes
3answers
703 views

Term for measuring in fractions of 1 [closed]

When you measure in fractions of 100, you call it a percentage. When you measure in fractions of 1000, you call it promille or per mil. There are even words for fractions of 10000 or 100000. But what ...
2
votes
0answers
217 views

Why do we use a leading dollar sign? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: What is the difference between 20$ and $20? Why is the unit of measure placed before the value for currencies? Are there other measures where the unit precedes value? ...
1
vote
3answers
209 views

What determines whether a numerical prefix is allowable for a unit? [closed]

The prefix centi- means 10-2. But while centimetre is common, I have never heard of a centiwatt or a centisecond. The prefix Mega- means 106. Hence Megabytes exist. So why do we not have Megametres? ...
19
votes
5answers
3k views

Why is the unit of measure placed before the value for currencies? Are there other measures where the unit precedes value?

$1,000 is pronounced as "one thousand dollars". Reading from left to right, it seems like it would make more sense to write the value as: 1,000$. This way the pronunciation of the value follows the ...
-2
votes
2answers
4k views

Period before or after short form for inches

When writing a sentence that contains the short version of inches as a double quote, (e.g. the box measured 14") does the period come before, or after the quotation mark?
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Terms for “half a decade”

Is "lustrum" (pl. lustra) an understandable (say, at least in academic publications) or valid/common term for a five year span, e.g. to use in a table summarizing data where space can be very ...
6
votes
3answers
525 views

Why don't we pluralize “foot” in measurements?

For example, to answer the question, "How tall are you?" valid answers include: Five feet. Five foot three. Five feet, three inches. Why the discrepancy between feet and foot, seemingly only in ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

“Forty foot” or “forty feet”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Pluralization rule for “five-year-old children”, “20 pound note”, “10 mile run” Is it correct to say "This is a forty foot drop" ...
10
votes
2answers
527 views

How flexible is “a dozen”?

How flexible is the measurement "a dozen"? If there are nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand people at a rally it is acceptable to say one million people attended, but if eleven people are arrested ...
0
votes
2answers
235 views

Do I write “zero millimeter” or “zero millimeters”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Correct plural form of a zero quantified noun There are no comments / There is no comment. In the sentence "There is 0 mm of attached gingiva," is the proper word ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

Are units in English singular or plural?

I am a little bit confused about using units in English, sometimes I hear that people use singular units for plural things, sometimes they use plural ones. Which one is correct? 3 meter(s) long? ...
-4
votes
2answers
1k views

Do we say and write 21 / 31 / 41 item or itemS?

I've been wondering, since these example numbers end with 1, isn't it natural to use the following noun in its singular form? From what I've been seeing around on the web this does not seem to be the ...
15
votes
20answers
9k views

Are there other idioms like “a stone's throw away” that both describe an activity and act as a measurement?

If something is quite close by, it could be described as being a stone's throw away; even closer might be a hop, skip and a jump. I'm interested in these "units" of measurement based on human action. ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How to write units?

In a scientific article, should I write "3m", "3 m", "3 meters", or "3 [meters]"?
8
votes
3answers
18k views

“A total of 10 babies is…” vs. “a total of 10 babies are…” vs. “Ten babies in total are…”

Which one is the correct one? A total of 10 babies is sleeping. (A) A total of 10 babies are sleeping. (B) Ten babies in total are sleeping. (C) For me, both (A) and (C) are correct. ...
22
votes
3answers
28k views

Should there be a space before a percent sign?

Should there be a space before a percent sign or not? Should you write 20% or 20 %? I'm not sure if there is any consensus about this or not. Is one way more common than the other?
11
votes
3answers
4k views

Punctuation with units

I remember reading somewhere that if a unit is abbreviated as one character, there must not be a space between the number and the unit (e.g., 5m, 26K). If the unit is abbreviated as two or more ...
21
votes
7answers
12k views

Should we use plural or singular for a fraction of a mile?

I have seen people say both 0.25 mile and 0.25 miles. Should we use plural or singular for a fraction of a mile?
21
votes
3answers
4k views

Pluralization rule for “five-year-old children”, “20 pound note”, “10 mile run”

Why are year, pound and mile in the singular form in the phrases below? five-year-old children 20 pound note 10 mile run Is that because they're acting as adjectives, which are always invariable ...