# Uppercase ordinal numbers

Is it correct to use uppercase ordinals when the rest of the whole sentence should be in uppercase?

11TH FEBRUARY 2016 or 11th FEBRUARY 2016

among the above, which one is correct? Or are there no such rules?

• Broadly speaking, one could say "there are no such rules" applicable universally. Refer to the relevant style manual. Uppercase ordinals are rare but not unusual; in fact, some font-styles have built-in symbols just for that. Where aesthetics score above uniformity, use lower-case; OTOH, where the ordinality is of great significance, use the upper-case for clarity. Just my thoughts.
– Kris
Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 11:41
• @Kris That's pretty much how I'd approach it as well. Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 11:44

## 3 Answers

The usual answer is to consult the style guide of your organisation.

There is an online tool you can use to help with title capitalisation, but it only deals with the capitalisation of the first letter of each word. There are three style guides to choose from, including AP and Chicago Manual of Style. In any case (no pun intended), if you type in "11th", the "th" remains in lower case.

As this doesn't truly help your situation where everything (else) is capitalised, the question is what kind of a thing "11th" really is. Richard Nordquist at About Education considers them to be numerals followed by abbreviations.

If we consider "11th" to really be the same as "eleven" with "th" tacked on, and the "eleven" portion replaced by the numeral "11", Frankenstein though that might be, then what we are left with is really just the number spelt out, sort of.

Looking further afield, a number of articles on style close with something along the lines of whatever you choose, be consistent:

So if the rest of your spelt-out words are in capitals, by a consistency argument, so should the trailing "TH".

• The question was about whether to capitalise the TH in 11th if the entire sentence was written in uppercase; your answer doesn't address that. Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 11:26
• @JohnClifford Ah, my mistake. Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 11:32
• @JohnClifford Ok, I'm addressing the correct question now. :) Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 12:42
• I have converted your -1 into a +1. Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 12:58

I think you should format the numbers so that they blend better with the rest of the text. Perhaps you can select the numbers and apply a larger font. Or, try something else, so long as the text is uniform.

• Please use "comments" to post opinions/ suggestions.
– Kris
Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 9:04

11th FEBRUARY 2016

Bear in mind that uppercased ordinals are used for specific concepts like TM (Trade Mark) or SM (Service Mark) because of this I do not recommend using uppercase for the ordinal indicator given.

• Do you have a source that says this is the convention? Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 11:44