The Era of Searchable Documents

Margie Wakeman Wells MWW Blog, Numbers Leave a Comment

Attorneys no longer need to “thumb through” a transcript to find what they are looking for. They use the search feature, and we need to make a few adjustments to some traditional rules to accommodate this search. Here is the first:

The Abbreviation of the Word “Number”

A sequential reference consists of

  • the name of what is being talked about
  • the abbreviation “No.” for the word “number” (if said)
  • a number expressed in digits

When expressed in this fashion, the name is almost always capped. Notable exceptions are page/line/paragraph/verse/size and a few others.

…It is Exhibit No. 15 that I am referring to.
…She lives in Apartment No. 4.

…Please look at page No. 3.
…It can be found on line No. 20.

If the word “number” is not said, it obviously is not transcribed.

…It is found in Section 91.
…I have checked, and it is Check 1552.

When the search uses the abbreviation “No.” for “number,” the search is going to stop on every “No” answer in the transcript. Because this pretty much negates the efficacy of the search function, it is best that we alter the rule and write out (and cap) the word “number,” which thus avoids the issue altogether.

…I am referring to Book Number 5.
…The meeting is in Room Number 12.

…Please refer to paragraph Number 10.
…It is in verse Number 4.

(Yes, the last two examples are not pleasing to the eye, but they are correct.)

Happy punctuating!

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