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A Letter To B/R Editors

Matthew GilmartinSenior Analyst IDecember 19, 2008

Dear B/R editors:

You've really been frustrating me lately.  You're supposed to know the rules of grammar, punctuation, spelling, and style—right?

Well, I'm disturbed that you think you do.  Because every article of mine that has been published recently has been revised for style.  The reason?  "Numbers zero through nine are written out, but numbers 10 and higher are presented in digit form, as per B/R style," many of the editors have remarked in their feedback. Yes, normally, that's the case. 

But there's an exception to that rule: Single digits presented as part of a stat line are supposed to be in digit form.  For example, instead of "he had two carries, eight yards, and one touchdown," it would be "he had 2 carries, 8 yards, and 1 touchdown". 

Meaning—you don't spell out numbers presented as part of a stat line! 

Please don't edit my—or anyone else's articles, for that matter—for that anymore.  It's not stylistically correct; and when you make edits for a "mistake" like that, you also make the writer whose article you tweaked look bad.

You may be thinking that that was some new member to B/R who did that, not knowing what they were doing because they don't know the style the site uses.  Well, that has happened.  But even some of the most well-known editors have done it.  Many have done it multiple times.

Please, editors, you're supposed to know about this kind of thing.  Don't make this mistake again.   

If you think I'm just ranting and you claim I'm dead wrong, just go to this link and take a look at the B/R style guide:

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