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I am writing the figure of £1,000,000 in a presentation but finding that my style guide clashes with what looks right.

  • 'Million' must be spelled out.
  • '£' must be used instead of 'pounds'.
  • Numbers one to ten must be written out and not expressed in numerals.

As such, it appears that I should present £1,000,000 as £one million but this looks so odd. Any suggestions?

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I have worked for a number of UK academic publishers and they all have'£1 million' (with lowercase m) as their house style. Occasionally, I have seen 1 million GBP. Incidentally, most publishers prefer numbers up to ten (or twenty) to be spelled out. This rule is usually 'bent' if it would create sentences such as: ' ... between eight and 12 people'. The guiding principle is to avoid cluttering the page with numerals whilst making sure that readers don't have to wade through too many spelled-out numbers. It's all to do with ease of reading as well as consistency.

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I think in this case £1 million would be the correct form.

  • To expand, 1 in this case is not the number one, but the amount of millions. – user172447 Apr 28 '16 at 10:25
  • I don't follow your comment. How can '1' not be the number one? It is used in adjective form, granted, but that doesn't make it any less of a number than its noun counterpart, surely? – James Stott Apr 28 '16 at 10:28
  • In the context it's actually a million. To make this clearer, the style guide won't suggest you write 121 as 'one two one'. The only difference here is the following digits are converted to 'million' by the style guide, but the first digit remains. – user172447 Apr 28 '16 at 10:33
  • Okay, I see what you're saying from your second sentence onwards, but if we were to consider '£1 million' ignoring the currency symbol then I would, without hesitation, write this as 'one million' as per the style guide. As such, my question isn't really about the number one million itself but the way this number interacts with a currency symbol in its written forms as per the style guide. – James Stott Apr 28 '16 at 10:51
  • You may write one million without hessitation, but it may not actually be the ideal . For example, the guardian (UK) style guide says '1 million people,' despite spelling out any number below ten. – user172447 Apr 28 '16 at 11:42

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