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Question for swimming experts ...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SoCalDude, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    All week I've been editing Swim Trials stories that say things like: so-and-so won by "two one-hundredths of a second" or "nine one-hundredths of a second."
    So, of course, I edit them to say "two-hundredths of a second" or "nine-hundredths of a second."
    Now tonight, I'm watching the Trials on TV (first I've watched this week) and the announcers are saying it the former way: "two one-hundredths", "nine one-hundredths."

    Is there some secret swimming code that requires the redundancy?

    They don't say three one-tenths of a second or eight one-tenths of a second ... or even six one-thousandths of a second, etc.
  2. Smash Williams

    Smash Williams Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't the proper style be numerical regardless? So 0.02 seconds or 0.09 seconds?
  3. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    You're re-editing it wrong. "Two-hundredths of a second" would make that the unit of measurement -- as in, somebody won by a two-hundredth of a second, which obviously is not the case. "Two hundredths of a second" would be correct, and "two one-hundredths of a second" is not a bad idea just to avoid confusion.
  4. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    Maybe my question was too complicated. Here's a simpler version:
    Is there any difference in "two-hundredth of a second" and "two one-hundredths of a second?"
  5. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Six of one, half a dozen of the other.
  6. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Yes. The first would not be hyphenated. If it's hyphenated it means 1/200 seconds as opposed to 2/100 seconds. So it's either "two hundredths of a second" or "two one-hundredths of a second."

    Edit: I'm sure they add the "one-" to avoid that confusion. There is no such confusion with the word "tenths."
  7. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    The thousandsths of a second try just as hard
  8. dirtybird

    dirtybird Well-Known Member

    If it's less than one it's spelled out I think (or that's what a copy editor yelled at me).
  9. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    Yes, that's the way I learned it, fractions are spelled out when less than one. To hyphenate or not is what's bothering me.

    They don't use that ### one-hundredths thing in motors or track, only seen it with swimming.
    It's probably just the announcers embellishing it -- TWO ONE-HUNDREDTHS OF A SECOND, kinda like GRAND SLAM HOME RUN ... and the writers follow suit.
  10. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Or, it's what everyone else above you said, in that two-hundredths of a second and two one-hundredths of a second are not the same amount of time.

  11. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    Is there a difference between a run and one run?
  12. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    Da man has it right. There is a difference. One two-hundredth of one second is less than two one-hundredths of a second.

    Also, to address the written form, you would be amazed at how many people -- even swimming writers -- think 0.02 seconds is the way to write two tenths of a second.

    So, they say it, correctly, to differentiate.
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