Questions relating to the use of numbers or numerals in speaking or writing English.

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3answers
488 views

What size of number should be written in digits as opposed to spelt out? [duplicate]

I was taught that small numbers should be written with letters and not numerals. For example "5" would be "five". I've heard conflicting rules and am wondering what the largest number that should be ...
3
votes
4answers
361 views

Do Americans leave the ordinal suffix out of dates?

Do Americans leave the ordinal suffix out of dates? By 'ordinal suffix' I mean '-th', '-nd', '-rd', e.g. 'April 17' instead of 'April 17th'. If they do, is there an explanation for this behavior?
0
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1answer
100 views

Is it correct to say “Do not duplicate the information, add only new one”?

Information is an uncountable noun. Therefore, is it correct to refer to it with a number one as in: do not duplicate the information, add only new one?
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2answers
97 views

Say I wrote down 25 instead of 52 by accident. What is the right verb I can use here to specify what I did to these two digits? [closed]

I'm looking for a verb/some verbs here so I can say: I (verb) those two digits and that's why you read 25 here (instead of 52). I don't want to use "mix up" because I'd like to specify this "action" ...
0
votes
2answers
114 views

Combining numbers and text

In the following sentence I am using a combination of numbers and words in a sentence: The greatest loss in accuracy for the method is between a rate of one and two hours where, on average, the ...
0
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0answers
23 views

When talking about decades, is it correct to write “90's” with an apostrophe? [duplicate]

When referring to decades such as the nineties, is it correct to write 90's with an apostrophe?
3
votes
6answers
1k views

In mathematics, when referring to pure numbers is largest or biggest correct?

When referring to a list of number is largest or biggest correct? For example, I want to find the biggest number in an array. Or should it be the largest number. Finally, would either biggest or ...
1
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0answers
2k views

“Two and two makes four” vs. “two and two make four” [duplicate]

Two and two makes four. Two and two make four. Which is grammatical? Please provide your reasoning.
1
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4answers
910 views

Is there a term to denote writing numbers in words rather than as digits?

Often when writing we would like numbers to be written out fully e.g. thirty rather than in digits e.g. 30. Is there a name for this kind of representation?
7
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10answers
8k views

Does “nineteen-hundreds” refer to 1900–1909 or 1900–1999?

The words "nineteen-hundreds" to me mean strictly 1900–1909. I've noticed several times that people, invariably North American, use these words to mean "the twentieth century", or 1900–1999, or ...
2
votes
2answers
8k views

When to spell out numbers [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do English writers avoid explicit numerals? Based on my previous question regarding spelling out monetary amounts, is there a rule of thumb when a number should be ...
1
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3answers
662 views

When I use numbers, when should I spell the word as opposed to just using the number? [duplicate]

I've just read this in a review: Thankfully, the energy efficient Qualcomm chip helped the handset reach a best-ever score of 17 hours and 30 minutes in our continuous video rundown test. ...
44
votes
8answers
53k views

Plurals of acronyms, letters, numbers — use an apostrophe or not?

When I was in high school back in the 1970s, I was taught that to make a plural of an acronym, a letter, or a number, one should add an apostrophe and "s". Like I would have written this sentence, ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Can you place a cardinal number after a noun?

Is it possible to express a number of something by placing the cardinal after the noun? I know the concept of postpositives, like snow galore etc. but does this apply to cardinals? E.g. you can say ...
5
votes
2answers
214 views

What is is called when you count the letters in an acronym, name or word with an ordinal multiplier?

In English, we frequently look at an acronym and name multiple repeated letters using an ordinal multiplier. For example: Automobile Association of America - AAA is read as Triple-A. Abdominal ...
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6answers
210 views

How to pronounce number, say 1024, in programming world? [closed]

This is a 1024-byte length string. How to pronounce the sentence above? This is a one-thousand-and-twenty-four byte length string. or This is a one-oh-two-four byte length string.
0
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3answers
115 views

Formatting numbers in a book about mathematics

Would anyone be kind enough to point me to a reliable source (preferably on line) where I can find definitive answers to how to format numbers consistently within a book about maths aimed at popular ...
1
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3answers
191 views

Need help simplyfying sentences containing economic information

I am not very knowledgeable about economics and am trying to reword these two sentences: In 1964 the CDC 6600 cost around $7 million USD, though some sources site prices of up to $10 million. ...
0
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3answers
528 views

“More than one” is to “plural” as “less than one” is to what?

We call the quantity of more than one (singular) plural. Is there any general word similar to this for a quantity less than one (singular)?
0
votes
2answers
60 views

Number usage in a series [closed]

Is it right to say that the percentage decreases by 10% each time, like in this example: Around 30% of politicians throughout the world are women. A significant 30% is represented in Scandinavian ...
36
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3answers
18k views

What is the plural form of “zero”?

I tried looking on Google, but there are some fairly contradictory results. I thought I'd ask you guys so we could get an authoritative answer on the subject!
18
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6answers
6k views

“Firstly” or “first”?

Which is more correct? How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. First, thy eyes gaze deep into my soul. Second,... or There are four reasons why all should hail the Hypno-Toad. Firstly, ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Usage of “and” and comma when writing numbers UK style

I am trying to understand the rules for writing numbers in words under the UK rules (with "and"). I understand how to write small numbers (up to a few thousands), but I am not sure when to use "and" ...
2
votes
1answer
281 views

What is the word for the set of words “million”, “billion”, “trillion”?

I am writing a program and I like to name things well. I have to say if a value is in the thousands, millions, billions, or trillions. My question is what do we call the set of number names that are ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

Is it proper to say “I earned -1 points today” when I lost 1 point?

Suppose I play a game where I can lose points as well as gain them. Usually I'll say: I earned 10 points today, hooray! But what if I lost points and still want to use "optimistic" verb? I ...
4
votes
3answers
573 views

“Amount of boxes” vs “number of boxes” in non discrete graph

I have a graph where I show number of boxes that a machine can service per minute. The data may not always give a whole number (for example, a machine may be able to service 2.3 boxes / per minute). ...
4
votes
4answers
686 views

Is there a verb that fits in the pattern: quarter, third, halve (divide), [???], double, triple, quadruple. . .?

If these were nouns, I would assume "single" fits in between: 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 1, 2, 3, 4 . . . quarter, third, half, single or one, double, triple, quadruple . . . Note that each word has a ...
3
votes
2answers
219 views

“Second” et “Deuxième”

Hello and happy new year ! Sorry for my english, I'm french and not very fluent in english. I tried to do my best and progress. I'm currently searching the english for "deuxième". In french, they ...
2
votes
3answers
339 views

Word meaning “to convert into a numerical form”?

Let's say that one possesses some data or information that one wishes to map to some kind of numerical representation. I can't seem to come up with a word or phrase that describes it well. As an ...
6
votes
2answers
222 views

After 13 years in the 21st century, what conclusion have we come to regarding the short forms of the names of the years?

Do you remember the other Year 2000 problem, regarding the nicknames of the years? If 1999 was "ninety-nine," then what would we call 2001? At the time, answers such as "one", "oh-one", "two-oh-one" ...
10
votes
2answers
433 views

Is “-th” still a productive suffix in English?

The main question here is whether using -(e)th to create ordinals out of cardinals1 is still considered a productive suffix in English. Is it? If so, then does it matter whether we are in a formal ...
2
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2answers
213 views

Term for writing a number as “five” vs “5”?

What I mean is, if I said "Write the number _ ", then you would write "5", "27", etc. Whereas if I said instead "Write the number _ ", then you would write "five", "twenty-seven", etc. I'm not just ...
1
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2answers
151 views

Starting a quote with a number

I know you cannot start a sentence with a number written digitally (how do I say this?). For example I could not write: 2013 is almost over! Can a quotation begin with a number, though? For ...
0
votes
1answer
908 views

Differences between Amount, Count, Number and Quantity [duplicate]

My programming peers suggest to use the term count with discrete things: count of words, count of sentences and so on. Then again my instructor suggest me to use the term "number" for the discrete ...
0
votes
3answers
104 views

Meaning of “I have three books and CDs”

I have three books and CDs. Does this mean I have three books and three CDs? Or are there three items in total? Are both possible? I am asking for a native speaker's opinion.
61
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5answers
4k views

When does thousand turn into thousands?

My boyfriend and I are arguing whether thousands of miles means 1000+ or 2000+ miles. The first argument is that 1000+ is over 1000 and therefore 'thousands of miles' by rounding up. The other ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

Ordinal form of zero (“0”) [duplicate]

The ordinal form of zero doesn’t always make sense, but is used in math and computing. But how do we say and write it? Is it said zeroth, zeroith, or something else? In writing, is it 0th?
3
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3answers
818 views

Is it a good idea to begin a sentence with a number or a variable name?

Is it acceptable to have the following sentences in formal writing? 2.5 years have already been completed. or n shows the number of something.
6
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2answers
466 views

Why “Many and many A year ago”, not “Many, many years ago? Are they same?

I was amused with the introductory part of the New York Times’ article(September 13) by Dick Cavett called “As comics say, ‘These kids today! I tell ya!’” that begins: “Many and many a year ago, ...
109
votes
13answers
5k views

Why do English writers avoid explicit numerals?

The junction has a stop sign on each of the four entrances. The junction has a stop sign on each of the 4 entrances. The first is preferred, for some reason, by many English texts. Why? I ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

“Thousands of thousands” vs. “Thousands upon thousands”

Is "thousands of thousands" grammatically correct? Why does it seem that "thousands upon thousands" sounds better, even though the former is closer to the logical truth? Is there any difference at ...
2
votes
1answer
484 views

Capitalising when starting sentence with digits

This might be more a typography related question than actual language question, but I didn’t know where else to turn. First of, I am perfectly aware that it’s generally considered bad form—regardless ...
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votes
1answer
155 views

Onety-one or Elebenty-Leben [duplicate]

Why is 11 (eleven) not pronounced onety-one or elebenty-leben, and why is it considered the ghetto way of saying eleven?
2
votes
3answers
138 views

Does ‘the mighty’ take a verb in plural form as in “the mighty are rendered helpless”?

There was the following sentence in the article of Time magazine’s November 25 issue under the title, “John F. Kennedy's Assassination and the Conspiracy Industry.” “This whiplash convergence of ...
1
vote
3answers
601 views

The reasons are two. Correct?

I stumbled upon this phrase in this video's description. A few words about this masterpiece: Brahms began composing this piece in 1854 and finished it in 1876. The reasons for delaying ...
4
votes
1answer
112 views

Toll Booths 1,2 and 5

Suppose I have a collection of numbered items, say toll booths that are numbered from 1 to 10. Consider three sentences: Toll booth 4 is closed today. Toll booth 1, toll booth 2, and toll ...
1
vote
2answers
244 views

How to punctuate a range of hyphenated numbers? [duplicate]

What is the best way to punctuate a range of hyphenated numbers, e.g., sections 12-3 through 12-7? EDIT: Just to reply to those who marked this as a duplicate, I really fail to see how the post that ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

19th century English texts occasionally use Germanic-style number words, such as “four-and-twenty”. When did this fall out of use?

19th century English texts occasionally use Germanic-style number words, such as "four-and-twenty", but the same text would also have the modern "twenty-four" in places (see e.g. Conan-Doyle for ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Writing numbers that are less than two digits in length [duplicate]

I was told that numbers under two digits should be written out alphabetically (e.g. one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine), and that anything two digits or over should be written out ...
5
votes
2answers
156 views

How to say: “this number has not been rounded”?

Let's say I count some items and the result is exactly 1000. How do I convey the fact that the actual count was 1000, and that I didn't round the number? It should fit into a sentence like "Overall, ...