Editorial Standards

Number Formats

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The preferred format is:
  • Use numerals when listing a time; 3 p.m., 3:30 p.m.
  • Include a.m. and p.m. notation with periods in lowercase letters. Avoid the redundant: 6 a.m. in the morning.
  • Spell out noon and midnight. Do not capitalize. Avoid the redundant: 12 noon or 12 midnight

Abbreviate these months when used with a specific date: January, February, August, September, October, November, December unless used in a formal invitation; (Spell out March, April, May, June and July in all references) e.g.:

Sept. 10  not  September 10
Oct. 31  but  March 4

Spell out the month if it stands alone in running text.

When writing dates, use numerals only. Avoid the use of st, nd, rd, or th; e.g.:

The event is scheduled for Feb. 1.  not  The event is scheduled for Feb. 1st.


  • Spell out numbers one through nine. Use numerals for numbers 10 and above.
  • Use figures within a series if more than one number is more than 10; e.g.,
    • 22 hours, 19 minutes, 6 seconds; 12 hats, 5 purses, and 16 pairs of shoes
  • Phone numbers may be written in one of two ways:
    • with the area code set off by parentheses; e.g.: (210) 829-6000
    • with the use of hyphens; e.g. 210-829-6000
  • Hours of the day; e.g., 7 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.
  • Amounts of money with dollar sign; e.g., $3 or $3.50
  • Always use numerals when referring to age; e.g., 3-year-old Annie takes ballet. or Annie, 3, takes ballet.
  • When using numerals with      suffixes (never with dates), always place the suffix in superscript format;      e.g. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.

  • Do not:
    • begin a sentence with numerals; instead spell out the number or rephrase sentence. (A year is the exception)
    • add a numeral in parentheses after it’s written in words; e.g., three copies, not three (3) copies