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5.01 Introduction

Numerical information should be conveyed in such a way as to be understood quickly, easily and without ambiguity. For this reason, numerals are preferred to spelled-out forms in technical writing. Except in certain adjectival expressions (see 5.05 Adjectival expressions and juxtaposed numbers) and in technical writing, write out one-digit numbers and use numerals for the rest. Ordinals should be treated in the same way as cardinal numbers, e.g. seven and seventh, 101 and 101st.

Many other factors enter into the decision whether to write numbers out or to express them in numerals. This chapter discusses the most important of these and presents some of the conventions governing the use of special signs and symbols with numerals. The rules stated should, in most cases, be regarded as guidelines for general use that may be superseded by the requirements of particular applications.