Dates, Numbers and Places

Dates and Years

When a month is used with a specific date, use it this way:

Jan. 1 Feb. 1 March 1 April 1 May 1 June 1
July 1 Aug. 1 Sept. 1 Oct. 1 Nov. 1 Dec. 1

Spell out the name of the month when using it alone or with a year alone. When using a month and a year only, do not separate with commas. When a phrase is used with a month, date and year, set both the date and year off with commas.

Right: January 2002

Right: Jan. 13

Right: Jan. 13, 1990

Right: He was born  Jan. 13, 1990, in Austin, Texas.

When referencing a span of years, use a hyphen and drop the first two numbers of the second year. If the years span a century change, use all four numbers of the second year.

Right: 1979-81

Right: 2002-04

Right: 1979-2002

Do not use the word “on” before a date or day of the week when its absence would not lead to confusion.

Right: The meeting will be held Monday.

Right: He will be inaugurated Feb. 22.

To describe sequences of dates or inclusive dates, use a hyphen (with no spaces between the hyphen and the characters) instead of the word “to” or “through.”

Right: The box office is open Monday-Friday.

Right: The performance will run Sept. 14-22.

Do not use suffixes with dates.

Right: Oct. 14

Wrong: Oct. 14th

Use an “s” without an apostrophe after the year to indicate spans of decades or centuries. Use an apostrophe before the year for class years or abbreviations to indicate the first two numbers of the year are omitted.

Right: The university was formed in the 1880s.

Right: She belonged to the Class of 1924.

Right: Shannon will graduate with the Class of ’03.

Right: The ‘60s were famous for hippies, flower power and the peace movement.

Right: Marcia Gay Harden, B.A. ’80, spoke to the College of Fine Arts graduating class of 2001.

An apostrophe after the year is needed for possessives.

Right: The presidential election was 1980’s biggest news story.


Spell out fractions less than one, using hyphens between words. Use figures for precise amounts larger than one, converting to decimals when appropriate.

Right: one-half, two-thirds

Right: 1.5 liters

Right: one and one-half liters


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

Right: $150

Right: $150.25

Wrong: $150.00

Use the comma in dollar amounts in the thousands.

Right: $1,000

Wrong: $1000

For dollar amounts beyond thousands, use the dollar sign, numeral (even when less than 10) and appropriate word. Do not hyphenate in compund modifiers.

Right: $14 million

Right: $14 million project

Wrong: $14,000,000

Wrong: two million


Spell out numbers from one to nine. Use numerals for all numbers 10 and above. Exceptions are noted below.

Right: nine poodles

Right: 16 buildings

Right: four miles

Right: He teaches ninth grade.

Use figures for ages, percentages, equipment specifications, addresses, page numbers and sums of money (when using the symbol “$”).

Right: She has a daughter, 2, and a son, 8.

Right: 8 megabytes, 240 RAM

Right: According to the chart on page 4, nearly half of the elementary-age children in Texas receive a $5 weekly allowance.

Avoid starting a sentence with a number, but if you must, spell out the number unless it’s a year.

Right: Twenty students registered.

Right: 1914 was an important year.


Always use numerals (including the numbers 1-9) and spell out the word “percent” in text. “Percent” takes a singular verb when standing alone or when a singular word follows an “of” construction. Use a plural verb when a plural word follows an “of” construction.

Right: Only 8 percent of the class voted.

Right: He believes 50 percent is enough.

Right: He believes 60 percent of the membership is coming.

Right: She believes 60 percent of the members are coming.

Use the percent symbol (%) in charts or figures and in academic, statistical or technical writing.

Telephone Numbers

If a publication is strictly for use on campus, you may omit the area code and first two digits. Use the “1”, “5” or “2” followed by the four-digit number.

Right: Call us at 1-3151.

If the publication may or will be sent off campus, include the area code as part of the complete number. Use a hyphen between the area code and number. When using telephone numbers for publication, you may wish to check for accuracy by calling the number before the final edit.

Right: 512-471-3151

If you use more than one number, separate with the word “or” in text, or with a slash in an address listing. When providing telephone, fax, cell phone, etc., numbers in an address listing, identify each.

Right: Call me at 512-471-3151/2389.

Right: My number is 512-471-3151.


Use lower case with periods for “a.m.” and “p.m.” When writing a time that falls on the hour, do not use “:00.” Simply state the hour with “a.m.,” “p.m.” or “o’clock.” Use “noon” and “midnight,” never 12 p.m. or 12 a.m.

Right: 3 p.m.

Right: 3-5 p.m.

Wrong: 3:00 pm

Right: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Right: Noon-1 p.m.

Wrong: 3 p.m.-5 p.m.

Wrong: 12 noon

Right: The concert begins at 8:30 p.m.

Right: The concert begins at 8 o'clock.