# punctuation for "2 point something billion dollar job"

How would you punctuate this:

"2 point something billion dollar job"?

I'm editing for a court reporter and he says this: "That's not much on a 2 point something billion dollar job." I am unsure how to punctuate that correctly. This is my guess: "2-point-something billion dollar job."

• Could you clarify - do you mean *"two-point-something billion..."?
– JHCL
Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 13:54
• Yes, thank you for your response. I'm editing for a court reporter and he says this: "That's not much on a 2 point something billion dollar job." I am unsure how to punctuate that correctly. This is my guess: "2-point-something billion dollar job." Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 13:59
• Definitely spell the word two and hyphenate, exactly as @JHCL posted. Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 15:17

The answer to this depends on what style guide you're using. If you were to refer to Chicago Manual of Style, for instance, I believe the best way to write this would be "two-point-something-billion-dollar job." The entire dollar amount modifies the word job, so it should all be hyphenated.

If you were to reduce the dollar amount all the way down to \$2, you would write this phrase as a "two-dollar job" (again, per Chicago), so it follows that the words billion and dollar should be hyphenated in your example phrase, too.

Make sure to also check your style guide's rules on spelling out numbers versus using ordinals. Most style guides spell out at least numbers one to nine.

The common way (in the US) to indicate that a cost is an amount over the integer, but less than the next integer is to use the + symbol, as in a \$2+ billion job or a 2+ billion dollar deal

Supplement

If you have a specific integer + decimal amount, then it would usually be written just that way. For example, If the amount were \$2,300,000,000 you could write \$2.3 billion deal or 2.3 billion dollar deal.

Note that in both examples, if you use the \$ symbol, you omit the word dollars in the text.

• Thank you for your comment and help. I'm editing a court deposition and the guy said: "2 point something billion dollar job." So I'm trying to figure out how I would punctuate what he said correctly. My guess is this: "2-point-something billion dollar job." Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 13:55
• My inclination would be to write it exactly how he said it. It also seems to me (not sure exactly why) that it would be better to write the word two, thus : a two-point-something billion dollar job.
– WS2
Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 14:13
• I agree with @WS2. If you are a reporter/editor, you just need to write exactly what someone says. I am not saying bib is wrong.
– user140086
Commented Oct 14, 2015 at 14:16
• I don't think bib is wrong either. People just don't always say things in the grammatically correct way. Well, most people don't. Thank you for all of your help! Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 2:13