nationalities and races
Capitalize the proper names of nationalities, peoples, races, tribes, etc. Also, see Hyphenation, dual heritage.
See either…or, neither nor.
See Capitalization, newspaper names.
New Year's, New Year's Day, New Year's Eve
But: What will the new year bring? We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.
See Sept. 11.
Use as the abbreviation for number in conjunction with a figure to indicate position or rank: No. 1 man, No. 3 choice.
The rules of prefixes apply, but in general no hyphen when forming a compound that does not have special meaning and can be understood if not is used before the base word. Use a hyphen, however, before proper nouns or in awkward combinations, such as non-nuclear. Example: nongraduating senior, nonmajor.
Usually means no single one, and takes singular verbs and pronouns: None of the seats was in its right place. Use a plural verb only if the sense is no two or no amount: None of the consultants agree on the same approach. None of the taxes have been paid.
Do not put a 12 in front of it. Also, see midnight.
- Figures or words
Spell out whole numbers below 10, use figures for 10 and above. Typical examples: They had three sons and two daughters. They had a fleet of 10 station wagons and two buses.
- In a series
Apply the appropriate guidelines: They had 10 dogs, six cats, and 97 hamsters. They had four four-room houses, 10 three-room houses, and 12 10-room houses.
- For ordinals
- Spell out first through ninth when they indicate sequence in time or location: first base, the First Amendment, he was first in line. Starting with 10th use figures.
- Use 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. when the sequence has been assigned in forming names. The principal examples are geographic, military, and political designations such as 1st Ward, 7th Fleet, and 1st Sgt.
- Some punctuation and usage examples
- Act 1, Scene 2
- a 5-year-old girl
- DC-10 but 747B
- a 5–4 court decision
- 2nd District Court
- a ratio of 2-to-1, a 2–1 ratio
- a 4–3 score
Use figures and spell out inches, feet, yards, etc. Hyphenate adjectival forms before nouns: He is 5 feet 6 inches tall. The 5-foot-6-inch man was present. The basketball team hired a 7-footer. The storm left 5 inches of snow.
Always lowercase. Use figures and the $ sign in all except casual references or amounts without a figure: The book cost $4. Dad, please give me a dollar. Dollars are flowing overseas. For specified amounts, the word takes a singular verb: He said $500,000 is what they want. For amounts over $1 million, use $ and numerals up to two decimal places. Do not link the numerals and word by a hyphen: He is worth $4.35 million. He proposed a $300 billion budget.
Spell out amounts less than one, using hyphens between the words. Use figures for precise amounts larger than one, converting to decimals whenever practical.
When large numbers must be spelled out (such as at the beginning of a sentence), use a hyphen to connect a word ending in y to another word: Twenty-one ducks were in the pond. Do not use commas or hyphens between other separate words that are part of one number: One hundred sixteen toothpicks were in the box.
- percent, percentages
One word. Use figures: 1 percent, 2.5 percent (use decimals, not fractions), 10 percent. For amounts less than 1 percent, use a zero preceding the decimal point: The cost of living rose 0.6 percent. Repeat percent with each individual figure: He said 10 percent to 30 percent of the electorate may not vote.
Note: Use of the % sign is OK to facilitate a tabular format. Otherwise, spell out.
- range of numbers
See Hyphenation, En Dash vs. Em Dash.
- room numbers
Use figures and capitalize room when used with a figure: Room 2, Room 211. When specifying a specific room within a campus location, if the audience includes members from outside the immediate campus community, use the full name of the building and the word Room followed by the specific room number: Wyatt Hall, Room 109. If the audience is limited to internal members of the university only, it is acceptable to shorten to just the building name and room number: Wyatt 109.
- telephone numbers
Use figures and hyphenate or include periods between the area code and prefix: 212-621-1500 or 800.555.1212. If extension numbers are given, use a comma to separate the main number from the extension and add lowercase ext., plus extension number: 253-879-2673, ext. 2673 or 253.879.2762, ext. 2762. Generally use area code, except in publications targeting a limited audience within a common area code.
Use figures except for noon and midnight. Use a colon to separate hours from minutes and a space to separate the figure from a.m. or p.m.: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. Avoid such redundancies as 10 a.m. this morning, 10 p.m. Monday night, etc. See a.m.,p.m., midnight, noon.