Writing Glitch #442

Today’s second glitch:

Spell out (most) numbers instead of using numerals: seven, not 7.

Don’t capitalize the common noun cereal. (Why would anyone do this? Why?)

He entered aisle seven to get some cereal and emerged a week later, thirty years older and pursued by a werewolf.

(Sounds almost Shakespearean, doesn’t it? Enter, stage right, pursued by a werewolf.)



About Thomas Weaver

I’m a writer and editor who got into professional editing almost by accident years ago when a friend from university needed someone to copyedit his screenplay about giant stompy robots (mecha). Having discovered that I greatly enjoy this kind of work, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use ever since as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom. I'm physically disabled, and for the past several years, I’ve lived with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have six cats. (The preferred term is "Insane Cat Gentleman.") I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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5 Responses to Writing Glitch #442

  1. J.R. Handley says:

    How do you know when to write your numbers out with words, versus listing it numerically?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, if you’re following The Chicago Manual of Style (you are, JR: Corey-the-human and I made sure of this) instead of The Associated Press Stylebook, you spell out numbers one through one hundred, plus “round multiples” of those: eighteen thousand, one million, etc. You may or may not spell out numbers that are not round multiples of larger units, such as twelve thousand, three hundred fifteen versus 12, 315. (Some large numbers really are too unwieldy to express with words, but they don’t come up in fiction very often.) One exception to the general guideline would be when numbers are part of the name of a specific piece of sci-fi tech: the Aioki C-13, for example.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. curioushart says:

    I just posted a story on my blog that has several numbers in it. Thanks to you, there is not a numeral in sight; and that includes decimals. If you are interested, it’s at https://curioushart.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/the-muse/

    Liked by 1 person

  3. M. Oniker says:

    Sometimes grocery Shopping is Difficult. Beware the Cereal aisle.

    Liked by 1 person

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