There was a question from the Peanut Gallery today. Cynthia in Houston asks:
“What is the correct way to write in a document the inch: in. vs. “? As an example: 2in. vs. 2 in. vs. 2in vs. 2″. Which one would be
most recommended to use? We are trying to be consistent, because I often read documents that have a variety of these notations used throughout the same document. As we move forward writing procedures, we would like to have a consistent approach. As we were reviewing one the other day, we noted that this might be a good question to ask you, so we can get it right in the future.”
Thanks for the excellent question, Cynthia. I commend you for trying to be consistent.
Short answer: 2 in.
Note the space after the 2 and the period after the in.
It turns out that my first Writing Style Tip of the Day in April 2012 concerned this very topic. For those of you who missed it (or forgot it), here is an encore.
The unit abbreviation for inch is: in. (with a period).
It is the only unit abbreviation that has a period at the end of it.
Why? Well, some people say it’s there so people won’t confuse the inch unit (in.) with the word “in” when used in a sentence. Like that one.
I like to think it’s a souvenir from the inchworm. As he crawls by, he leaves a little dropping at the end of his nickname.
Typo of the Day:
“vales” instead of “valves.”
A vale is a valley or dale. A butterfly vale would be a very beautiful thing! Yet another one that got away from Spell-Checker!
Profound Quotes of the Day:
“There is but an inch of difference between a cushioned chamber and a padded cell.”
“One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.”
– Gilbert K. Chesterton, English writer, 1874-1936