number format

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Fri May 8 16:05:49 UTC 2009

what i said here back on 5/2/07:

i recall being taught at some point in school that things like "one
hundred and two", "two hundred and thirty", etc. were vulgar errors
(in both speech and writing), that "and" should never be used in such
expressions.  (this might have been an instance of Omit Needless
Words).  the lesson seems not to have stuck with me, since i sometimes
use one version, sometimes the other.

but now i've spent 15 minutes looking through advice books of all
sorts, without finding anyone who has an opinion on the matter.  ah!
now i see that CMOS15 mentions "and" omission in passing, in
connection with an entirely different issue (not beginning  sentences
with a numeral).  p. 381 has the example sentence:

   One hundred and ten candidates were accepted. (_And_ may be omitted.)

let free variation reign!


i still haven't found this "rule" in a reference book.  it seems to
have survived as an oral tradition, passed on by (some) schoolteachers.


The American Dialect Society -

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