Posted by: episystechpubs | February 11, 2015

Editor’s Corner: Numbers and Parentheses

On occasion, I run across an editing job in which the writer spells a number and then repeats the number in parentheses. For example: You need two (2) red cables and four (4) blue cables.

As your loving Editrix, I recommend against this practice. You may have read a tirade or two of mine about why two spaces after the period became unnecessary and outdated with the fall of the typewriter. Well, this format is a holdover from before the typewriter! The reason people would spell the number and then write it in parentheses is to prevent misunderstandings caused by bad penmanship!

In today’s world, this is an unnecessary and redundant practice.

As far as numbers go, the basic rule is to spell out numbers from zero to nine, and use digits for numbers 10 and over. There are several exceptions to that rule, but those are for another day.

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

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