Grammar |
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Category: Numbers

Nominal Number: Definition and Examples

Posted on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at 6:00 am

We are familiar with numbers and the function they serve: We use and look at them just about every day. Recognizable enough in our checkbooks and calculators, numbers also have their own categories in writing. For example, the following sentences contain both ordinal and cardinal numbers: 1. Donetta took first place in the spelling bee. …

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Writing Zip Codes

Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, at 6:00 am

We at times receive questions concerning the proper way to address outbound mail and, in particular, use zip codes. Because your goal and ours is to achieve precision in writing, we'll take a closer look at zip codes and how you can treat them in your correspondence. What Is a ZIP Code? Zip codes today …

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Ordinal vs. Cardinal Numbers

Posted on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, at 6:00 am

Numbers can often present different style questions in American English. When should we spell them, and when shouldn't we? In particular, what are ordinal numbers and what are cardinal numbers, and how do we treat them? Mastering these distinctions will refine your precision in your daily writing. For this discussion, we'll review style guidance from …

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A Study of Style: The U.S. Military

Posted on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, at 11:00 pm

Our exploration of American English strives to venture even further than the principles that guide writing with precision and eloquence. We are also interested in the language variances beyond what we accept as common for information exchange. For example, we know that United States can be abbreviated, often as either US or U.S. One might …

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Christmas ‘Log Review

Posted on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, at 11:00 pm

Every year, for six weeks or so, I get a taste of what it's like to be a superstar. From late October to early December, I am accosted daily by an aggressive mob of stalkers who know where I live. Their urgent need for my attention seems to be their only reason for being. No, …

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Year-End Quiz 2018

Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at 11:00 pm

Another year of grammatical exploration has concluded with linguistic miles behind us. What we’ve learned and discussed with you along the way has been illuminating, and we are grateful for the thought and insight it has inspired. We hope you gathered even more sharpened tools for communicating in concise and eloquent English. A year-end review …

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In the Zone: It’s About Time

Posted on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, at 11:00 pm

We're all aware of how vital marked and measured time is to guiding and structuring our days. How then do we treat it in precise and careful writing? We offered some guidelines in our updated April 2017 article Writing Dates and Times. We'll expand on those here by delving deeper into the most recent editions of …

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Tackling More Tricky Word Choices: Another Look at Number Is and Number Are

Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at 8:30 am

Recently we’ve been reviewing word choices with nuances worthy of noting. Understanding subtleties of meaning and usage makes the instruments in our toolboxes even sharper for precise and eloquent writing. Today we’ll look at another English-usage item that can sometimes be tricky even for experienced communicators. When using the word number as a collective noun for countable …

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Year-End Quiz 2017

Posted on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, at 12:01 pm

Review is good for retention. That’s why likes to start the new year with a jumbo quiz that spans the last twelve months of topics we’ve covered with you. In 2017 we explored an array of ways to enhance your grammar and writing. We hope what you learned follows you well into 2018 as …

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Writing Dates and Times

Posted on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at 8:54 am

Rule: The following examples apply when using dates: The meeting is scheduled for June 30. The meeting is scheduled for the 30th of June. We have had tricks played on us on April 1. The 1st of April puts some people on edge. (Some prefer to write it out: The first of April) Rule: There …

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