The Hyphen for an Incomplete Number

Margie Wakeman Wells General, Uncategorized 3 Comments

Formal English rules say that an incomplete number should be written out in words.

…I think you said you made four or five hundred dollars.

Combined with the consistency rule, this presents some issues in a reporting transcript. When there are other numbers in the same sentence or area of the transcript, it is simply not practical to write
everything out in words.

An alternative is to use figures with a hyphen after them for the incomplete number.

…I think you said you made 4- or $500.
…We paid $675,000 for the house and sold it two years later for 8-.

Happy punctuating!


Comments 3

  1. Margie, when my judge, when referring to himself, says …this court, I was taught, (I think??) it is lower case C because of the adj.”this.” Otherwise cap Court when he is speaking about himself. Is that correct?

    1. Post

      Hi, Cary.

      I am not sure the word “this” makes any difference. When he refers to himself, I think it should be capped.

      Hope this helps.


    2. Post

      Since it refers to just the judge alone, I think I would go ahead and cap it. It is rather bizarre.

      Hope this works for you.


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