It all happens so fast. If you remember, we ended last week with everything suspended: Criss on the side of the Chrysler Building, David upside down, handcuffed in a shark tank. But the crowd has now turned back to me, wide-eyed and slack-jawed, to hear the rest of my story on how to write numbers.
Desperate to wrest back the crowd’s attention, Criss jumps down and slaps a spectator’s head under a guillotine! David nails his own hand to a door with an icepick! But to no avail (maybe a little avail, but not much), because I just keep pouring it on!
use words for numbers at the beginning of a sentence, including a date:
Nineteen sixty-eight was the height of student migration to the beaches of Ft. Lauderdale during Spring Break.
Eleven hundred twenty-nine students that year were arrested and jailed during the riots.
hyphenate numbers from twenty-one through ninety-nine, but only those numbers:
one hundred eighty-three
place a comma after the year, but only if the day appears after the month:
We will wait till October 14, 2015, to begin.
But: We will wait till 14 October 2015 to begin.
use the numeral with the word percent unless in a technical piece; then use the numeral with the symbol % :
But 7 percent voted no.
Mix a 7% solution with . . . .
spell the number if you spell the currency:
write the numeral if you use the symbol:
NOT add the numeral in parentheses after we have written the number in words (lawyers pay close attention):
seven thousand nine hundred fifty-two (7,952).
NOT use ordinal numbers in dates unless “of” appears between the day and the month:
8 May, or May 8, or the 8th of May
but not May 8th, or 8th May
NOT place an apostrophe before the “s” in a plural year or century:
the 1960s, or the 1800s
NOT capitalize a century:
the twentieth century, or the 20th century.
replace the century with an apostrophe:
the Class of ’64.
Wait, what's happening? That last one apparently has pushed the crowd to the edge of hysteria! Excuse me, I have a crisis on my hands! David, please, drop the hacksaw! Leave your ear alone! I'm finished! You may have your audience back!