0

How would you write the following in fiction given that my style guide says write out numbers up to and including 99?

From the till, she robbed six 50,000-won notes, two 10,000s and eight thousands.

I think some exceptions need to be made, not least to keep it informal and to respect the fact that there is a list. It is in narrative rather than dialogue. It seems unnecessary to repeat "-won notes" every time. There are too many options. Help!

From the till, she robbed six 50,000-won notes, two 10,000s and eight thousands.

From the till, she robbed six 50,000-won notes, two 10,000s and eight 1,000s [saying "eight one thousands rather than "eight thousands" seems overly formal and precise?].

From the till, she robbed 6 fifty-thousand-won notes, 2 ten thousands and 8 thousands.

From the till, she robbed six 50,000-won notes, two ten thousands and eight thousands.

Thanks for the help and suggestions.

4
  • Is it important to specify the denominations of notes she stole?
    – towr
    Jan 23 at 18:25
  • Thanks. It is Korean won. I was hoping I could just use this term for the first reference.
    – Mandy
    Jan 23 at 18:29
  • 1
    No, I meant, is it important to mention how many notes with what value she stole? In most cases I think just an (approximate) total would be fine. Does a reader need to keep track of the notes?
    – towr
    Jan 23 at 18:31
  • You normally don't need to strictly follow a style guide for fiction, unless your publisher/editor is making you.
    – Stuart F
    Jan 25 at 11:37

2 Answers 2

1

Oxford's style guide tells that: “In non-technical contexts, Oxford style is to use words for numbers below 100.” (New Hart's Rules, 2nd, ed., p. 186) Although the style guide explains that there are exceptions to the rule, in your case, you have to use words rather than figures for six, two, and eight.

Things are different for 1,000, 10,000, and 50,000. As those are exact numbers, there is no reason to use words instead of figures. You have, however, to be consistent. If you use figures for 10,000, don't use words for “thousands.”

Your second alternative is therefore the good one:

From the till, she robbed six 50,000-won notes, two 10,000s and eight 1,000s.

1

Unless the particular combination of bank notes is some how important to the story, you'd just write "she stole 328000 won from the till."

You normally wouldn't even be that exact about it: "she stole over three hundred thousand won."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.