0135140560 pp4a


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

Yavapai College
Lindsay Henning
Associate Professor

Published in: Education, Business
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0135140560 pp4a

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