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Thread: Writing Someone's Height

  1. #1
    No Stranger To Rejection allz28's Avatar
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    Writing Someone's Height

    What is the proper way to write someone's height using AP Style or Chicago? Or more importantly, how would you suggest writing it in a list that is being submitted to McSweeney's?

    Six-foot-one

    6 foot 1

    6' 1''

    or something else?

  2. #2
    Ooo! Shiny new cover! Absolute Sage Cathy C's Avatar
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    I guess my question is whether it's important to the text to show it. Is it non-fiction or fiction? In fiction, it would only be relevant to the person identifying the person and there are much more interesting ways to convey the information.

    But according to the Chicago Manual,
    Numbers & units. Generally, do not mix numbers that are spelled out with symbols, write out the term for the symbols as well. For example, write: the temperature was 45 , or forty-five degrees; $20 or twenty dollars. Chicago style makes an exception for percentages: it is OK to write 45 percent.
    So 6'1" would probably be fine in narrative. In dialogue, spell out the words because they're being spoken.
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  3. #3
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    Cathy C is right. Use either 6' 1" or six feet one inch. Whether you use numbers of letters is largely dictated by the kind of writing you are doing.

  4. #4
    No Stranger To Rejection allz28's Avatar
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    Okay, thanks for the quick responses!

    Like I mentioned, this is for a List Submission to McSweeney's. So it's not in dialogue. It's not even a story.

    I'll go with 6' 1"

  5. #5
    A bit of a wallflower absitinvidia's Avatar
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    Do remember that the feet and inches symbols should be primes and not curly quotes!

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW
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    If it's fiction, editors want all numbers spelled out.

  7. #7
    Not scary at all. Really. -Riv-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    If it's fiction, editors want all numbers spelled out.
    Actually, the choice to use numerals or spell out numbers depends on whether the numbers are in dialogue or not, the magnitude of the number, usage, placement in the sentence, and several other factors. There are editorial guidelines for this.

    All the best,
    Riv
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  8. #8
    resident curmudgeon
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    If the place you're submitting to has an editor, don't sweat it. These things usually depend on in-house style, and the editor will change it to suit his likes.

  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW RKarina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesaritchie View Post
    If the place you're submitting to has an editor, don't sweat it. These things usually depend on in-house style, and the editor will change it to suit his likes.
    Ditto what JAR said here.
    If they have a style guide - follow it.
    If they don't, and they have editors - they'll either fix it themselves, or send it back to you with a list of style corrections and have you do the fixing (rare in larger organizations, more common in smaller newspapers).

    Visit me online @ Rochellekarina.com

  10. #10
    That hairy-handed gent
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    In addition to the preceding comments, no reader is going to care, as long as you are clear and consistent.

    caw
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