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

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2
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2answers
530 views

Arabic numerals vs their corresponding English words in scientific research paper [duplicate]

This question is different from Why do English writers avoid explicit numerals?, as it is about the usage in a physics research paper. Basically, I am not sure when to use Arabic numerals and when to ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

Usage of “second/third/fourth … last”

In German there is a pattern for counting items from the end of a list. The last item is "das letzte", the one before is "das vorletzte", the one before that is "das vorvorletzte" and for each other ...
2
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2answers
312 views

1st percentile, 2nd percentile… But how to say “2.5th” percentile?

It is necessary for me to write about the 2.5th and 97.5th percentiles of a data set. What is the correct way of writing this? This post talks about "zeroth", "n-th" and even "epsilonth" as ...
2
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1answer
4k 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 ...
2
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2answers
484 views

Using “and” with numbers [duplicate]

I'm a computer programmer and I'm working about this problem. I must say that I'm not very familiar with British English and I'd like to know when the word and is used in the numbers. The perfect ...
2
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2answers
488 views

Is there a special word for amounts between 11 and 20?

Translation is often tricky. I'm stuck with the Polish word kilkanaście, which literally means few-teen. It is used to describe an amount more than ten, but less than 20 (or including 20, it's hard to ...
2
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1answer
557 views

Is it acceptable to use digit and word form of numbers in the same sentence/paragraph?

To illustrate, this reads a bit awkward: In a country with 75 billion SMBs, at least seven billion of them should advertise. What's the acceptable practice in such sentences ?
2
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1answer
103 views

How do you 'say' the numbers in: “section 20.1234” in a government regulation? [closed]

How do you read section 20.1234 in a regulation by a government agency? For example, the law is 38 C.F.R. section 20.1234. How do you read 20.1234? Do you read it as "twenty one two three four" or ...
2
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1answer
13k views

One and a half minute/minutes [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Pluralization rule for “five-year-old children”, “20 pound note”, “10 mile run” Should we use plural or singular for a fraction of a mile? ...
2
votes
1answer
835 views

When lac can be written as lakh or lacs?

In India, 100 thousand is sometime referred to as 1 lakh, while sometime as 1 lac. I am not sure if lakh is correct. Sometimes, I find the people writing more than one lac (or lakh) as lacs (or lacs). ...
2
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1answer
371 views

Use of the word “chance” to mean a number

In the Song I'm a Good Ol' Rebel the lyrics include the verse But I killed a chance of Yankees I'm unable to find a definition of chance that fits this usage. I presume it means a number but I'...
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3answers
76 views

How to resolve the ambiguity of “two day classes”

Two day classes will take place this week. Here, "day classes" is a compound. I don't want it to sound like it's just one class that goes on for two days.
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3answers
400 views

Words or digits? What is good style for numbers in mathematical writing?

What is considered good style for writing small numbers as words or digits in mathematical texts? I have three concrete examples, are there any differences between those? "M is a matroid of rank ...
2
votes
3answers
715 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 ...
2
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2answers
2k views

Is “12:30” (the time of day) an abstract noun?

Nothing else to add, I just want to make sure.
2
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1answer
83 views

How are Hexadecimal Numbers pronounced? [duplicate]

Using different numbering systems/notations, "normal" decimal numeric expressions can be presented variously. For example, my age (57) is represented in hexadecimal as "39" However, once I'm 58, it ...
2
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2answers
43 views

Indicating year when writing currency

Is there a convention for indicating the year of a monetary amount? Because of inflation citing a monetary sum is rather useless without specifying the year: $20 in 1900 is very different than $20 in ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

How should I write long numbers in comma separated lists or parenthetical phrases?

In writing out a sentence with a parenthetical number, it occurred to me that it is a bit difficult to read. Is there a better way? (Yes, this is a bit of a contrived example and yes, I realize it ...
2
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3answers
284 views

Where do these numbers come from, and do we still use them? [duplicate]

I began to read the stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, and several times already, I came across numbers the form of which surprise me... First, in A Study in Scarlet, Chapter IV: ...
2
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1answer
893 views

What is the correct way to express yearly quarters? Is using roman numerals correct?

While looking over a company's annual report, I realized that every business quarter was denoted using roman numerals. E.g. QI,2014 QII, 2014 etc. I am sure I am being petty and pedantic, ...
2
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2answers
6k views

What is the history of “nil” in British football /soccer?

In British football if neither team scores a goal, the score is said to be: nil-nil or nil-nil draw. Curiously, the winning team's results are always spoken first. So if Arsenal are playing home the ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Correct usage of numero sign (№): cardinal numbers okay?

Can the numero sign (№) only be used to indicate ordinal numbers only, or would it be correct to use it for cardinal numbers as well? A very specific example: if I write about "the number of males ...
2
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1answer
153 views

Is a number range always plural?

If I were to say "2-3 weeks" it seems clear that weeks should be plural. Are there any cases where a number range would not be plural (e.g. 0-1 week or 0-1 weeks)? Would it matter if the usage was ...
2
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3answers
703 views

Quiz Show Jeopardy: Are the 1910s called “nineteen-tens” or 'nineteen-teens'?

On the quiz show Jeopardy there is a question asking "The first modern crossword is published & Oreo cookies are introduced". The clip of the show can be seen on YouTube. The contestant who ...
2
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1answer
160 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
610 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
743 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 ...
2
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0answers
24 views

When did “two and thirty” construction fall out of common usage? [duplicate]

In "The Red-Headed League", one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, a character named Jabez Wilson remarks, "It was a pretty expensive joke for them, for it cost them two and thirty ...
2
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1answer
72 views

Number of noun modified by coordinated PP: “the [X-sg] of [Y] and [Z] is”, or “the [X-pl] of [Y] and [Z] are”?

I've tried searching Google and StackExchange for this one, but I find it difficult to state the problem generally and therefore have had no luck so far; apologies if the answer is already out there ...
2
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1answer
701 views

Hyphen in physical quantities before nouns?

In cases where a physical quantity (consisting of a number and a unit) is used like an adjective to describe a property of an object, should it be written with or without a hyphen between the number ...
2
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3answers
455 views

How to pronounce long numbers?

2,060,700 in words. Which is correct. (A). Two million sixty thousand and seven hundred dollars OR (B). Two million sixty thousand seven hundred dollars ...
2
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3answers
175 views

“Ten and several minutes”: Any more natural expression?

Heat the mixture for ten and several minutes. What is a more natural way to express this “ten and several” wording, which is literally translated from Japanese? A. for between ten and 20 ...
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4answers
476 views

How to label a digit according to its position in a number

Let's say there is some number like 12345. In Konglish (Korean English), I can label 3 as the hundred's position number and 5 as the one's position number. I don't think this is correct English. How ...
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3answers
2k 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. ...
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4answers
17k views

How to write dollar amounts in a narrative

What's the best way to write dollar amounts in a narrative (such as a novel), particularly if the amounts are large and/or fractional? I would use this: "The national debt just hit 14.6 trillion ...
1
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1answer
67 views

Is it ok to use commas after a number written in digits?

In Dog-eating an exaggerated myth I categorically state that [eating dogs] is not at all a widespread Swiss habit and that the 3 per cent (that would make 130,000 Kiwis) are totally made up. ...
1
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1answer
765 views

Why are decimals read as fractions by some cultures?

I find it very strange that the top results on Google for "how to read decimal" give me a very strange way to read them - as fractions. I have learnt to read the digits individually and it makes a ...
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2answers
20k views

Correct way to write a range of dollar figures

What is the best way to express the range from $4.5 billion to $5.2 billion? Is the following correct? ... between $4.5 and $5.2 billion...
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2answers
76 views

When and how to use numbers in writing [duplicate]

When writing is it correct to use numerals (e.g. 1,2,3,) or spell out the number (e.g. one,two,three)?
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2answers
384 views

What do you call this fraction?

Is this how you write these fractions in words? 5/21 is five twenty-ones, 1/21 is one twenty-one. Can someone please clear this for me? I know 1/4 is one-quarter or one-fourth and 2/5 is two-fifths ...
1
vote
1answer
5k views

When is it proper to abbreviate first to 1st?

When is it proper to use 1st instead of first? For example, is the correct sentence acceptable? Can you give more detail about why you 1st got involved? I tried finding some authoritative ...
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3answers
835 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)?
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2answers
342 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 ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...
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4answers
3k 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?
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2answers
78k views

How to spell out dollars and cents [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to say the total amount? Which is the correct way to spell out dollars and cents? Forty-Two Thousand Dollars and 00/100 ($42,000.00) or Forty-Two Thousand and ...
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2answers
290 views

What is the correct way to express the ordinal form of a large number?

If I want to express... The 1114th person ...with the number in words, would it be best to do... The one thousand, one hundred and fourteenth person ...or hyphenated... The one-...
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2answers
141 views

Why “proximate” refers to centesimal? [closed]

I mean, when I read "proximate" I think about "proximity".. why does it refers exactly to the 3rd digit in a number?
1
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2answers
294 views

Number word or Arabic numeral? [duplicate]

Is there a rule for good usage as concerns applying a number word as "one", "two" and so on as opposed to Arabic numerals as "1342"? Is it, for instance, a rule that numbers less than 20 should be ...
1
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3answers
341 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. ...