Friday, June 11, 2010

Pet Peeve

Stupid pet peeve of the day . . .

When people write out word count. In other words, 50,000 words is correct.

These are not correct:
  • Fifty-thousand words
  • 50 thousand words
  • Fifty 1000 words

Jessica

37 comments:

Kimber An said...

Ow, a painful newbie mistake.

For all you newbies you make it, my sympathy. Don't give up. Just re-commit yourself to learning the ropes.

wry wryter said...

My stupid pet peeves of the day regarding numbers...
100,000 to wordy, cut the fat
50,000 to lean, beef it up.

Speaking of rotund numbers...

You have such a pretty face or
you don't look that fat or
now that you have lost all that weight you are no longer the fattest one in the family. (Yes someone actually said that to me.)

And because we are discussing numbers, how about...
You are 39 and holding or she was 21, 21 years ago or
you don't look your age...you look older !

Back to word count.
Kimber An, here's a question for YOU, when do you know you are NOT a newbie?
I'm quessing if you have to ask you still are and if you are not a newbi are you an oldb----?

steeleweed said...

Picky, pickey, pickee...
:-D

wry wryter said...

steeleweed
funny, funy, fun e

wry wryter said...

Back to Kimber An

Your post was at 8:19 which means in Palin-land it was 5:19.
So, I figure you are a really early riser or a good book kept you up all night or where you live it's dark twenty-four hours a day anyway so time doesn't mean much.

Okay, I'll stop, I'm going to work now.

Steven Till said...

I like the third option :) I think I'll start using that. I may even add zero/one-hundredths to the end. So "Fifty 1000 words and zero/one-hundredths."

Anonymous said...

Wry wryter, my personal pet peeve of that ilk is men calling me "young lady".

I know they intend it as a compliment, but the mere fact that they say it when it is so clearly not true just emphasizes that they've noticed I'm kinda long in the tooth.

Laurel said...

Does anyone else have the old rule floating around in the back of their brain that you write out numbers up to ninety-nine and then you use the numerical?

Nic said...

Laurel - i heard it was ok to write a number up to twelve then for the teenies and beyond you use numbers. Don't know how correct that is though. For all i know it could be 20.

Why is it correct to write certain numbers and not others? Surely fifty-thousand is as correct as 50,000.
Is it because we need to see the shape of the numbers and length to fully realise the size or is it something else?

Word verification is phyme - what the hell is that?

Anonymous said...

Ah, pet peeve-alicious.

Creepy Query Girl said...

*Creepy frantically looks up the query she sent Jessica* "whew! I'm good."

Anonymous said...

Half of one-tenth of a million words.

Anonymous said...

What about 50K words?

Malia Sutton said...

Talk about pet peeves. You should hear the way some of them pronounce the word fifty. But I'm not going there :)

Bethany said...

Silly Jessica. No one ever wrote fifty 1000 words. Otherwise, please enroll them in adult classes somewhere. O_O

Kimber An said...

Hmm, wry, I think it's when you realize a form rejection letter is better than no response at all, and you're grateful for every one.

I could go on, but some of them are not appropriate for a public forum.

Kimber An said...

Wry, both, actually.

Angie Ledbetter said...

I've heard this about ten hundred times now from experts. :)

Kate Douglas said...

Thank you, all. I needed this this morning...I may have to read it at least 50 thousand times...

Max Munro said...

We're talking in queries, right?

How about in dialogue? John August has some advice, but it's for screenplays:

http://johnaugust.com/archives/2010/numbers-in-dialogue

Kay said...

Do they teach English anymore ... or, just the tests?

Andrew C. said...

My latest work was three-and-one-quarter-score-thousand words long.
That is, in binary, 1111110111101000 words, and FDE8 words in hexadecimal.

If you were wondering.

Christina Auret said...

Can't I just use numbers all the way through instead of using an up-to-here-write-it-out rule?

It would make things easier as far as I'm concerned.

Miranda Mayer said...

Guilty.... :::blush:::

Kimberly Kincaid said...

It might just be the kind of day that I am having, but the whole "fifty 1000" thing made me laugh out loud. And since I needed that...thanks :)

Anonymous said...

What about, for a historical novel, 2,500 score? :)

scarlettprose said...

I know she's not talking about me. My manuscript is 95 thousand words...

Lucy said...

Nic,

Somebody call me on this if I'm wrong, but I believe that "fifty thousand" is correct, whereas "fifty-thousand" is not. But for word count, you'd use the numerals.

Now if I were writing a war narrative, I might say, "Fifty thousand men died in the battle," or "One million people lost their homes." I would not say "1,000,000 people lost their homes." (At least, I suppose I could, but I think it looks pretty bad on the page.)

But the fifty-1000s thing boggles my mind. :0

Tabitha Maine said...

Nic, phyme is a cousin of thyme--it aids the colon.

ROFL

Let's all laugh together and call it a day.

Sierra Godfrey said...

I shall assume fractions and percents are acceptable. :)

spoiledforchoice said...

Fifty 1000 words is funny. does anyone actually do that?

wry wryter said...

Home from work, reading the posts...you people are sooooooo
funny.
My husband wants to know why I am laughing out loud.
"Is it a dirty computer joke," he wants to know, "because if it is I need a good laugh," he said.
No, I tell him it's about numbers, you won't think its funny.
He was a math major in college, I'll let him read it.
He didn't laugh and told me I need to get a life.
He's sooooo funny too !

Kelly Wittmann said...

Thanks for the laugh; I needed it today.

Nick Saw said...

My fiction novel is three hundred forty-two pages long.

Annette Lyon said...

People seriously write out that third one? Yowza.

Anonymous said...

This is not correct.

Fifty-thousand words can be acceptable, depending on the media and the style guide used.

Are you a trained editor? Otherwise, stick to agenting.

Vatche said...

Wow! I'm surprised people make mistakes like that. I'm eighteen- years-old and I know not to write the word count like that.

Anyway, interesting note to keep in mind, even though I don't do it.

Write on!