Category: Numbers

Numbers: Words or Numerals?

Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2015, at 4:29 pm

The topic of when to write numbers out and when to use numerals concerns and confounds a lot of people. America’s two most influential style and usage guides have different approaches: The Associated Press Stylebook recommends spelling out the numbers zero through nine and using numerals thereafter—until one million is reached. Here are four examples …

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What Kind of Rule Is Usually?

Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, at 2:38 pm

A thought-provoking inquiry showed up recently in our inbox: I can’t decide which verb is correct in sentences like the following. Would I write There are three kilograms of flour in the kitchen or There is three kilograms of flour in the kitchen? Two meters of fabric is here or Two meters of fabric are …

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Revised and Expanded Blue Book Coming Next Month

Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014, at 2:23 pm

The eleventh edition of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation is set for a February debut. It has been six years since the tenth edition was published. So when the publisher, Jossey-Bass, requested another go-round, the team at was elated. We trust that readers will find the new, extensively revised and expanded version …

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Christmas ’Log Review

Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2013, at 7:12 pm

Every year, for six weeks or so, I get a taste of what it’s like to be a superstar. From late October to early December, I am accosted daily by an aggressive mob of stalkers who know where I live. Their urgent need for my attention seems to be their only reason for being. No, …

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The Number vs. A Number

Posted on Thursday, December 9, 2010, at 9:01 am

The expression the number is followed by a singular verb while the expression a number is followed by a plural verb. Examples: The number of people we need to hire is thirteen. A number of people have written in about this subject. Pop Quiz Choose the correct word in each sentence. 1. The number of …

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