- numeralsIn general, numerals are used in more factual or statistical contexts and words are used (especially with numbers under a hundred) in more descriptive material: I have lived in the same house for twelve years / The survey covers a period of 12 years. Words are used in idiomatic expressions such as I must have told you a hundred times / Thousands of people swarmed through the gates. Separate objects, animals, ships, persons, etc., are not units of measurement unless they are treated statistically: The peasant had only four cows / A farm with 40 head of cattle. With numerals consisting of four or more figures, commas should be used to divide off the thousands, e.g. 3,096 / 10,731. In specifying ranges of numbers, use the least number of figures possible, e.g. 13–14 / 31–4 / 1923–6. But dates bc should be written in full: 432–431 bc (since 432–31 bc and 432–1 bc represent different ranges). More detailed information will be found in Hart's Rules for Compositors and Readers.
Modern English usage. 2014.
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