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Days, months, years

Do not use "on" with dates when its absence does not lead to confusion. To describe sequences or inclusive dates or times, use an en dash (-) for "to." Do not use the European convention for dates (day, month, year).

Right: The program ends Dec. 15, 2005.
Right: The program ends December 2005. (no comma)
Right: The program ends in December.
Right: Register for the symposium May 7-9, 8-10 am.
Wrong: The symposium will be held 15 May 2005.
Wrong: The program ends on December 15, 2005.
Wrong: Register for the symposium May 7 to 9, 8 am to 10 am.

Spell out numerical designations first through ninth and use numerals with appropriate letter suffixes for 10th and above.

Right: the first semester, the second vice president
Right: the 10th sample, our 124th anniversary

Do not use st, th, etc. with dates.

Right: Submit applications by Oct. 14.
Wrong: Submit applications by Oct. 14th.

Use an s without an apostrophe to indicate spans of decades or centuries. Use an apostrophe for class years.

Right: The College at Brockport student population increased in the early l990s.
Right: She belonged to the Class of '74.


Always spell out the words for inches, feet and other measures.


Use the dollar sign and numbers. Do not use a decimal and two zeros.

Right: $515
Right: $15.25
Wrong: $515.00

For dollar amounts beyond thousands, use the dollar sign, number and appropriate word.

Right: The grant was for $14 million.
Right: The budget was $82.6 million.
Wrong: The grant was for $14,000,000.
Wrong: The budget was $82,600,000.

Use a hyphen when the dollar amount is an adjective:

Right: The $10-million capital campaign is necessary to ensure continued excellence in faculty development.


Generally, spell out numbers one through nine, use figures for 10 and above. Use figures for dimensions, percentages, ages, distances, computer storage capacities and several others. Grade levels are an exception — always spell them out. Check the AP Stylebook for exceptions. Spell out the number when used at beginning of sentences.

Right: nine secretaries
Right: 16 buildings
Right: 4 inches
Right: He teaches ninth grade.
Right: She has a son, Quentin, 3 years old.
Right: Twenty students registered for the class.
Right: 8 megabytes, a 6-megabyte memory (hyphenate compound modifiers)


In tables, write percentages with the numeral and % symbol. In prose, spell out the word percent, except in scientific, technical and statistical copy.

Right: Seventy percent responded favorably.
Right: More than 90 percent of the class earned As, and only two percent failed.

Telephone numbers

If a publication is strictly for use on campus, you may omit the area code. If the publication may/will be sent off campus, include the area code in parentheses with a space between the parenthesis and the exchange.

Right: (585) 395-5160

If you include more than one extension, use a slash (/) between the extensions. |

Right: (585) 395-5160/5161

For on-campus publications, it is permissible to indicate an extension as: x5160.

Special note: Always use (585) in any document on the Web.


When writing a time that falls on the hour, do not use :00. Simply state the hour with am or pm or o'clock.

Right: The concert begins at 8 pm.
Right: The concert begins Friday evening at 8 o'clock.
Right: The concert begins at 8:30 Friday evening.
Wrong: The concert begins at 8:00 pm.

For 12 am and 12 pm, use noon and midnight without 12 before.

Right: The session will end at noon.
Right: He came to work at midnight.

Last Updated 8/28/17

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