Number Sense

I saw in an equation today the value of .75.

For folks like me who wear bifocals and have little floating specks traversing our eyes, tiny little periods can easily be missed.

Therefore it is a good idea to express decimal values less than one with a zero before the decimal point.

Bad Example:    .75
Good Example:   0.75

See? It is so much clearer that this is a small number. And if this paper is going to be copied or faxed or scanned or digitized, having that zero present will solve any disappearing period issues and the end-user will know for a fact what the number is supposed to be.

Besides, the SPE Style Guide specifically says:
“When writing decimal fractions, place a zero to the left of the decimal point
(0.5 not .5).”

Numerical Typo of the Day:
2103′ instead of the year 2013

This is a two-fer boo-boo: not only is the number transposed, but the unit of measure is wrong, feet instead of a year. Note that you should use ft not ‘ to designate feet. Folks like me with bifocals and floaters can see “ft” a whole lot better than those tiny single quotation marks.

Profound Quote of the Day:
“A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.”
– Plato, Greek philosopher, 427-347 BC


One Response to “Number Sense”

  1. Steve Says:

    First off I would like to say great blog! I had a quick question
    in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind before writing. I have had trouble clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out. I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or hints? Cheers!

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