• # Numbers

How numbers are treated in a text can be quite different in different fields of study, but there are some general rules about the use of numbers and numerals within the flow of text.

Small numbers (less than 20) are usually spelled out, while large numbers are given as numerals.

The archaeological material presented in this paper consists of 59 runic artefacts.

Numerals are used when the exact value of the number is important, even if that value is small.

Samples were kept in 1 ml tubes on ice for 2 min and remaining tissue debris was removed by centrifugation at 13,200 x g for 3 min.

A (small) number should be spelled out if it is the first word in a sentence, especially if the value is less than 20, but other numbers may be given as numerals in the same sentence. In general, it is best to avoid starting a sentence with a numeral.

In total, 28 names appear in the material. Thirteen can be categorized as male names and 12 are probably female names. Two transliterated names could belong to either gender.

Note that the word “one” is often used as a pronoun, and in this usage, it must be spelled out and cannot be replaced by a numeral.

• # Range of numbers

A range of numbers is usually reported in numerals with an en-dash “” (not a hyphen, “-“) between the numerals.

Early results have estimated the recidivism rate to be  16–40%.

Conkey, Margaret W. & Gero, Joan M. (1997). Programme to Practice: Gender and Feminism in Archaeology. Annual Review of Anthropology. 1997 (26), p. 411–437

• # Numeral punctuation

Within the flow of text, punctuation marks are used to separate large numerals (in the thousands or higher), and for fractions (use 0 in front of a fraction less than 1, e.g., 0.25). Which punctuations symbols to use depends on whether you are using British or American English, and different fields of study may have different standards. Usually there is no space between a percentage sign and a numeral.

The population of Uppsala is around 200,000 people, which is about 2.22% of Sweden’s population. [American]

The population of Uppsala is around 200.000 people, which is about 2,22% of Sweden’s population. [British]

• # Numerals in the flow of text

Small numbers (less than 20) are usually spelled out, while large numbers are given as a numeral. A small number should be spelled out if it is the first word in a sentence, especially if the value is less than 20, but other numbers may be given as numerals in the same sentence. In general, it is best to avoid starting a sentence with a numeral.

In total, 28 names appear in the material. Thirteen can be categorized as male names and 12 are probably female names. Two transliterated names could belong to either gender.

Note that the word “one” is often used as a pronoun, and in this usage, it must be spelled out and cannot be replaced by a numeral.

• # Percentages

A percentage of something is often a singular entity, and can take a verb in singular form. If the individual items that make up that percentage are referred to, then the percentage should take a plural verb.

Another 13% of the sample is composed of both male and female names, while 27% of the inscriptions are unintelligible.

• # Years as numerals

It is common to use numerals to refer to years, decades, and centuries. Decades and centuries are sometimes spelled out (for instance, “in the nineteenth century”), although numerals are also common (“in the 19th century”).

The earliest finds with runic inscriptions are dated to the 2nd century AD.

Philologists specialized in runes use a slightly broader spectrum for the Viking Age period, defining it as the era between 800–1100 AD.

The letter ‘s’ that comes after a year range indicates the plural of the years, not the possessive, and therefore no punctuation should be used between the numerals and the ‘s’.

Computers in the 1970s and early 1980s used cassette tapes for storage.