Numerical References

In General
Ten and Under Rule
Begin a Sentence with a Number
Do Not Follow a Number with a Number in Parentheses
Singular Verb to Express Dollars
Hyphenation
Measurements and Ages
In General
Exceptions to the Ten and Under Rule
Money
Commas and Money
Population
Percentages
Mixed Numbers and Fractions
Groups of Numbers
Numbers in Tabular Form
Formulas and Equations
Dates or Time
Hours
Time Periods
References to the Utah Code, Utah Administrative Code, and Other Laws

In General

Ten and Under Rule

Spell out numbers ten and under when enumerating common nouns. Express numbers 11 and above in Arabic numerals.

Examples:
Four persons
15 children

Begin a Sentence with a Number

A rulewriter should always spell out a number if it begins a sentence or a paragraph. If a number greater than 100 appears at the beginning of a sentence, it is always expressed in words and the rulewriter should not include the word “and” between the numbers.

DO NOT SAY: SAY:
One hundred and fifteen people attended. One hundred fifteen people attended.

Do Not Follow a Number with a Number in Parentheses

When a number is spelled out, it should not be followed by a numeral in parentheses.

DO NOT SAY: SAY:
Twenty-nine (29) Twenty-nine

Singular Verb to Express Dollars

References to dollars should be used with a singular verb.

DO NOT SAY: SAY:
There are appropriated $5,000 to… There is appropriated $5,000 to…

Hyphenation

Compound Numbers from Twenty-one to Ninety-nine

Hyphens are used when the numbers are spelled out to begin a sentence. This principle includes both cardinal and ordinal numbers.

Examples:
Twenty-one…
Twenty-first…
Fractions

Hyphens are used when the fractions are spelled out to begin a sentence, except that if the numerator or denominator is a compound number requiring a hyphen, it is the only number hyphenated.

Examples:
Two-thirds…
Six sixty-fourths…
Mixed Numbers

Hyphens are used when a mixed number is expressed in either Arabic numerals or spelled out to begin a sentence.

Examples:
1-1/2
One and one-half

Measurements and Ages

In General

The ten and under rule is most used when referring to measurements and ages.

Examples:
40 gallons
two quarts
400 feet
six inches
21 years old
seven miles
ten years old

The expression of age can be ambiguous at times. The phrase “older than 18 years old” could mean the day after the 18th birthday or the day of the 19th birthday. Either the term “old” or the term “of age” may be used when referring to a person's age. However, the term chosen should be used consistently throughout a rule.

DO NOT SAY: SAY:
Applicants shall be more than 21 years old. Applicants shall be 21 years of age or older.
Applicants shall be between 21 and 50 years old. Applicants shall be at least 21 years old but shall be younger than 50 years old.

Exceptions to the Ten and Under Rule

There are several exceptions to the ten and under rule. The rulewriter should always use Arabic numbers to express:

  • money;

  • population;

  • percentages;

  • mixed numbers;

  • groups of numbers;

  • numbers in tabular form; and

  • citations to the Utah Code, Utah Administrative Code, and other laws.

Money

Always express money using Arabic numerals.

DO NOT SAY: SAY:
fifty cents 50 cents
Five million dollars $5,000,000
$1.5 M $1,500,000

Use decimals only to express cents or tax-related figures such as tax rates, assessments, and valuations. In these cases decimals are preferred to fractions, although at times a fraction is the only way to express a tax rate.

Examples:
$5.83
$0.50
.0032 per assessed dollar valuation
sales tax rate of 5.85%
sales tax rate of 5-9/32%

Do not use zeros after a decimal unless actual cents must be expressed.

DO NOT SAY: SAY:
$5.00 $5

In listing monetary amounts in tabular form, however, use both decimals and zeros.

Examples:
$ 5.25
194.10
2,100

Commas and Money

Use commas in monetary amounts of four figures or more.

DO NOT SAY: SAY:
$5000000 $5,000,000
$9700 $9,700
$1500 $1,500

Population

Always express population using Arabic numerals.

Examples:
1,382,600 people
A city with a population of 100,000 or more…

Percentages

Express percentages using Arabic numerals and the percent symbol (%).

Example:
5%
15-1/2%
3.3%

Mixed Numbers and Fractions

With the occasional exception of two-thirds, express mixed numbers and fractions using Arabic numerals. Spell out “two-thirds” when stating the need for a two-thirds vote by a committee.

Examples:
1-1/2
4-7/8
… two-thirds vote…

Groups of Numbers

If any number in a group of numbers exceeds ten, always express the group using Arabic numerals. If all numbers are ten or under spell out the numbers.

DO NOT SAY: SAY:
ten, 45, five 10, 45, 5
1, 5, and 8 one, five, and eight

Numbers in Tabular Form

When listing numbers in tabular form, use Arabic numerals.

Examples:
10
100
3

For more information, see the section called “Tables”.

Formulas and Equations

Mathematical, scientific, and chemical formulas and equations should be described in text to avoid the risk of a corrupted formula or equation being published. Formulas and equations may become corrupted if they include special symbols, brackets, or underlining.

If formulas or equations are necessary, it is possible to use symbols common to all systems (parentheses, slashes, pluses, hyphens, asterisks, and text) and not use other special symbols (brackets, braces, or underlining).

Example:
((175(Grams contained U-235)/350) + (50(Grams U-233)/200) + (50(Grams Pu)/200)) greater than 1

If formulas or equations are essential, there are a few important things to remember:

  • Special symbols may be lost when text is transferred among different computer programs or systems (see the section called “Symbols”).

  • Underlining is reserved solely for the purpose of showing new language in proposed rules. Using the underscore character in creating equations could result in a significant misreading of the text when coupled with underline showing new text.

  • Brackets may only be used to identify text being deleted in proposed rules. Brackets and bracketed text are deleted when rules are inserted into the administrative code.

Dates or Time

When drafting, the rulewriter will often need to express dates or times in statute. The following highlights the combinations of Arabic numerals and words used to express dates or time.

Hours

Never use the phrase “o'clock.” Instead, use “a.m.” and “p.m.” with the exception that “noon” and “midnight” should be used instead of “12:00 m.”, “12:00 p.m,” or “12:00 a.m.” Do not use a colon to express minutes unless actual minutes are to be indicated.

DO NOT SAY: SAY:
9:00 a.m. 9 a.m.
10:00 p.m. 10 p.m.
10:15 p.m.
10:15 a.m.
12 p.m. or 12 m 12 noon
12 a.m. 12 midnight

Time Periods

To eliminate uncertainty in expressing periods of time, the first and last days of the period should be specified. Make the first day of the application clear. Never use imprecise phrases such as “from and after,” and “to or until.” If something must be done by the end of a named period, the rulewriter should indicate whether the act should be done before the period begins or whether it must be done within that period.

DO NOT SAY: SAY:
July 1, 2005, to July 1, 2006,… Beginning July 1, 2005, and before July 1, 2006…
Between July 1, 2005, and July 1, 2006,…

Beginning on or after July 1, 2005, and ending on or before June 30, 2006,…

A taxable year beginning on or after January 1, 2005, but beginning before December 31, 2005,…

Express dates simply using common notation.

Days, Weeks, or Months

If a time period is expressed in whole days, use “day” not “time.” “Time” may be construed as referring to the exact time of day or night.

DO NOT SAY: SAY:
Five days after the time when… Five days after the day on which…

A rulewriter can use a set day of the week to indicate a deadline or other time restraint.

Example:
Each license shall be renewed each year on the first Monday of April.

When referring to effective dates use the actual date itself rather than ambiguous phrases such as “after this rule takes effect.”

Example:
After July 1, 2005, members shall serve two-year terms.

Subsection 68-3-12(2)(m) states that in statute “month” means a calendar month. For the rulewriter's purposes, “week” also means a calendar week.

Years

If a time period is expressed in whole years and the context creates no special ambiguity, use the word “year.” If a continuous two-year period is intended, use “for a two-year period” rather than “for two years.”

If a rule references a time period spanning years (e.g., fiscal years), include on the last two digits of the last year.

Example:
fiscal year 2005-06

References to the Utah Code, Utah Administrative Code, and Other Laws

A reference to statute, rule, or other law is always drafted with numerals. For a more detailed discussion concerning references, see the section called “Citations in Rule”.

Examples:
Utah Constitution Article XIII, Section 2
Subsections 32-6-15(b) through 32-6-15(e)
UT L 2005 ch 1
Section R708-2-24
28 U.S.C. Section 105(a)
Pub. L. No. 94-12, 89 Stat. 26
42 CFR 2.1 (2005)