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0135140560 pp4a


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BSA105: Business English …

BSA105: Business English
Section 4: Numbers, Abbreviations, and Symbols

Yavapai College
Lindsay Henning
Associate Professor

Published in: Education, Business
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  • 1. Pearson Business Reference and Writer’s Handbook Section Four Numbers, Abbreviations, and Symbols
  • 2. This section provides
    • A review of the “mechanics” of writing .
      • These items might be referred to as the “icing on the cake.”
      • They are necessary to the accuracy of the final product.
      • Consistency in their usage is the most important element.
      • Using standard forms of these items also adds to the understanding of the text.
  • 3. Objectives
    • Apply a consistent style to numbers, abbreviations, and symbols when writing a document
    • Demonstrate correct usage of figures versus. words in written text
    • Apply standard abbreviations
    • Limit the use of abbreviations and symbols unless they are essential to clarity
  • 4. Expressing Numbers
    • Readers expect to see numbers expressed in a standard way.
    • Using established conventions for writing numbers in words and figures ensures clarity and avoids confusion.
  • 5. Words or figures?
    • Write the numbers zero through ten in words.
    • Write numbers above ten in figures.
    • Always spell out a number that begins a sentence.
    • Use figures to number and label items.
  • 6. Some exceptions:
    • To de-emphasize numbers, you may opt to write all numbers in words.
    • In copy with many numbers, or where you want to emphasize numbers , use figures for zero through ten.
  • 7. Other exceptions
    • When several numbers above and below ten designate similar things, it is clearer to express them in the same form—all figures or all words.
    • When numbers refer to dissimilar things, they need not be expressed in similar form.
  • 8. Large Numbers
    • Express large indefinite or approximate numbers in figures or words.
    • With figures above the ten thousands, use the words million, billion, or trillion.
  • 9. Spelling numbers
    • When you spell out words that express numbers between 21 (twenty-one) and 99 (ninety-nine), use a hyphen.
    • Words that express numbers higher than 99 (two hundred, one thousand) are not compound words and do not need a hyphen.
  • 10.
    • Avoid spelling out numbers with more than two words (a hyphenated word counts as one word).
      • 5,240
    • Numbers expressed as words or figures need a hyphen when used to form a noun or adjective.
      • We bought a five-year-old sofa.
      • My four-year-old started school.
  • 11. Ordinal Numbers
    • Indicate a ranking or place within a series.
      • On numbers add st, nd, rd, and th
        • 21 st
        • 42 nd
        • 83 rd
        • 39 th
      • Spell out in words
        • First
        • twenty-second
        • thirty-third
        • fourteenth
  • 12. Words or figures for ordinals?
    • In general, spell out ordinals that are expressed in one or two words.
      • twenty-second
    • If the ordinal number has more than two words when written out, use numerals.
      • 175 th
  • 13. Time
    • Generally, use a.m. and p.m.
      • 6:15 p.m.
    • For time on the hour, do not add zeroes.
      • 7 p.m.
    • For time frames, do not repeat a.m. and p.m.
      • 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
  • 14. When expressing time in words
    • Use morning, afternoon , or evening instead of a.m. or p.m.
      • four in the afternoon
    • Use the word o’clock in formal writing and invitations.
    • Use midnight or noon with or without the figure 12.
  • 15. Calendar dates
    • Express the month in words and the date in figures.
    • Do not use ordinals.
    • Place a comma between the day and year.
      • December 7, 1941
  • 16. Military and international style
    • Reverse the day and month.
      • 11 September 2001
    • No punctuation is needed.
    • Use this style in military or international correspondence.
  • 17. Money
    • Use figures to express amounts of money in running text.
    • Write whole numbers without decimals or zeroes.
      • $20
    • Use the word cents for amounts under $1.
      • 20 cents
  • 18. Abbreviations
    • Spell out most words.
    • Do not use texting abbreviations.
    • Abbreviate proper names of organizations, products, and so on when used frequently or if that is the standard spelling:
      • GE for General Electric Corp.
  • 19. Abbreviate proper names
    • Of organizations, products, projects, and so on when used frequently
    • Or if an abbreviation is the standard spelling, e.g., GE for General Electric Corp.
  • 20. Explain abbreviations
    • Spell out the name on first use and put the abbreviation in parentheses immediately after it.
    • Except with shortened forms of words in general usage that do not need explanation
      • TV, ad, SUV
  • 21. Punctuation in abbreviations
    • Many capital letter abbreviations do not require periods anymore
      • USA, AM/PM, MBA
    • Most abbreviations expressed in lowercase letters have periods
      • a.m./p.m., i.e., etc.
  • 22.
      • Omit periods in abbreviations of academic degrees
        • PhD, MA
    • Capital letter abbreviations of organization names are usually written without periods.
      • NASA, IBM, NRA
    • If an organization uses periods in its name, follow the preferred usage.
  • 23. Names and titles
    • Write names exactly as they are written by individuals.
    • Use a period and a space after Mr., Ms., Mrs.
    • Separate names and academic titles with a comma:
      • Joe Alexander, PhD
  • 24.
    • Spell out professional, military, and religious titles in written text.
    • Abbreviate titles in the inside address of letters and on envelopes. BUT
    • Always spell out the title in the salutation.
    • Place a professional titles in front of the name OR abbreviation after. Do not use both when they denote the same thing.
  • 25. Geographic directions and locations
    • Spell out within the body business documents.
    • In the inside addresses of letters, spell out the state name OR use the two-letter postal abbreviation.
  • 26. United States
    • Spell out United States when using it as a noun.
        • The United States is a huge country.
    • When using it as an adjective, it can be abbreviated.
      • US Department of Education
  • 27. Addresses
    • Spell out all the words in a street name in the inside address of letters.
    • On envelopes and labels, standard abbreviations may be used.
  • 28. Measurements
    • Spell out standard units of measurement in text when only a few figures are used.
    • If measurements are extensive, use abbreviations.
    • Use abbreviations in technical writing, tables, and illustrations.
  • 29. Symbols
    • Use words for dollar and percent in text with few numbers.
    • Use symbols in heavily numeric text, technical writing, tables, and forms.
    • In measurements use either symbols or words; repeat the symbol after each number.
  • 30. Numbers, Abbreviations, and Symbols
    • Must be consistently styled in each document. Check accuracy and style in the final stage of proofreading.