# Why do politicians all say "and" when they state a year number [duplicate]

"In two thousand AND eight blah blah blah until two thousand AND thirteen blah blah blah" Is there some grammar rule that if you're stating a year you should say "and" within a number or is there a rule that in politics you should say "and" within a number?

• Which politicians? Jan 3, 2014 at 18:10
• There are some American grammar school teachers who teach that you should never say "and" within a number. I believe that the more colloquial way to do it is to use "and". Politicians like to sound colloquial. Jan 3, 2014 at 18:10
• Peter, it is also the way to do it in the UK. Not including the word and seems to be an American thing in particular. Jan 3, 2014 at 18:39
• Leaving out ‘and’, while perfectly common in many dialects (and idiolects), just sounds plain wrong to me. It grates, even though I know there's nothing universally wrong with it. I'm sure there are many who feel the same about leaving the ‘and’ in. Jan 3, 2014 at 18:39
• @JoeC: No, that is not a rule. ‘And’ does not mean decimal point anywhere near as often as it is simply a part of a number exceeding 100 (or, if you count the archaic, ‘German’ way of putting the tens last, exceeding 20). If you want to denote decimal points, use ‘point’ for clarity; otherwise, you’re bound to be misunderstood. In fact, if you use ‘and’ like that without specifying what unit follows, I’d say you’re absolutely certain to be misunderstood. “Two thousand and thirteen” can just as well be thirteen millionths as hundredths. Jan 4, 2014 at 1:50

I don't know that it's a rule of grammar, but the word "and" can resolve ambiguity in expressing decimal numbers:

``````200.014 = two hundred and fourteen thousandths
0.214 = two hundred fourteen thousandths
``````

Let this direct your habits as you see fit.

• That doesn’t really resolve any ambiguity—many people would understand both those to mean 0.214. If you want to be unambiguous, say “two hundred point zero one four” and “(zero) point two one four”, respectively. Jan 4, 2014 at 1:53
• Interesting that a reply to a purely American question (it would be really odd to leave out the and in a year in British English) brings in another purely American usage: I don't believe I have ever heard somebody in England refer to a decimal as so many hundredths or thousandths: those numbers would always be two hundred point oh one four (or zero one four). I've only ever encountered the usage in American novels. (There is the obsolescent unit thou, which means "thousandth of an inch", but that is different). Jan 4, 2014 at 2:21
• Putting the 'and' in can also have advantages in spoken English at least: two hundred and three foot-high bushes // two hundred three foot high bushes (I've omitted the required hyphen/s from the written form, as the spoken version would not indicate the different senses without unusual prosody). Let this direct your habits as you see fit. Jan 4, 2014 at 12:32