Saturday, October 4, 2008


Surely it's just coincidence that I blogged about Sarah Palin on October 1st and my StatCounter shows I got a blog visit from someone in Wasilla, AK - supposedly as a result of a search for the words: do I spell out the age 12?

Y'know, if you're from Wasilla, Alaska, you're welcome here. You can even get here by searching for "Sarah Palin," "candidates," "vice presidential debates," "first amendment," "politics" - gosh, lots of things. You don't have to pretend to be looking for the answer to "do I spell out the age 12?"

In case you didn't get the answer to your question, though: Yes. Spell out numbers under 100.


  1. Hmmm, I think it's spell out ages (and most other uses of numbers) under 10 (per AP and Chicago style guidelines).

    Reference to Chicago Manual:

    Here's an AP reference

    But I don't own either style manual to check for myself. Sounds like spelling out under 100 isn't grammatically incorrect, but I'm thinking it's generally out of favor except perhaps in the most formal of style usages - or with other old school editors like yourself. ;-)

    In terms of what's more common, the spell-out-one-thru-nine rule wins in google search results on the couple samples I ran:

    21 year old: 43,400,000
    twenty-one-year old: 1,450,000

    42 year old: 22,300,000
    forty-two-year old: 435,000

  2. Why, Betsy, what a democratic way to decide questions of grammar and style! Let the majority Google-results rule! I like it.

    Seriously, thanks for weighing in on this. I think it's important to note that consistency is worth considering, when it comes to questions of style.

    I do hope my visitor from Wasilla comes back to see your answer to the question! In any case, thank you again!

  3. I think in writing it is still spell out numbers under 100. In just general grammar rules, those are applicable but in writing rules which are definitely different than what they teach you in school. I Googled - writing - spelling out numbers rules - and got this - and this one (I love the Purdue Online Writing Lab - they have tons of information and worksheets to help with some things like misspelled words, et cetera).

    The writing rule says to spell out numbers that can be expressed in one or two words and use figures for other numbers, which basically includes 100 (one hundred and below).

    Hope that clears up some things on spelling out ages. See you in the postings - E :)

  4. So, OK, Holly. I do think you have a copy of The Frugal Book Promoter. There tends to be different rules on this for newspapers than for books and you'll find it there. The book is even indexed so you can find it easily. Sorry, I couldn't resist. (-:
    Carolyn Howard-Johnson

  5. Why, Carolyn, indeed I DO have the book! It's in there? I don't recall. Funny story, though - I took it with me last time I flew.


    They didn't make me throw it out with my water bottle!

    Okay, I'm looking - give me a hint. I looked under "numbers," "spelling," "style" - where is it? Or are you going to jump out and say "Hah! Made ya look!"

    The Frugal Book Promoter is a great resource, particularly for the...reluctant author, unaccustomed to tooting her own horn, so to speak. But a style guide? Show me where. Cite a page number. I'm not seeing it!

  6. P.S. By the way, anyone who comments intelligently (i.e., actually reads and comments ON the content of my blog) may include a link in their comments to their own blog or web site, to a book they've written, etc. so long as it's not pornographic, isn't selling pharmaceuticals, and isn't written by an automated program or "bot."

  7. You mean I could have put some info about the JGDS series in my comment for your readers? Wow, I feel so honored. LOL I figure I'm linked by name (which takes folks to my regular blog and if they feel adventures and want to know more about me, they will check my profile and find my children's series blog as well ( That's what I usually do on people who comment on other blogs. I check out their profile by clicking on their name. Oh wait that takes me to their profile and allows me to see all their blogs, and I usually explore some from there.

    So now I have just promoted myself on your blog - lol -

    But good idea to say it's okay to do so as long as they don't include the things you listed - E :)

  8. I should probably add that I reserve the right to delete comments that are nothing more than spam, or are abusive of other visitors to this blog. I'm all about protecting the First Amendment - just remember this isn't a "public forum" and I'm not a "government entity."

  9. Oh, shoot. I said Frugal Book Promoter? I meant The Frugal Editor. Can't keep my ducks in a row.

    I'm so glad they didn't make you throw the book out with the water. The way our freedoms are being curtailed, that's next.


  10. Okay, Carolyn, but this time, I'm not making the link for you. You can just COME BACK HERE AND DO IT YOURSELF!! LOL!


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