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Style question $1-2 million

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by BB Bobcat, May 6, 2010.

  1. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    This came up in the Lindsey Lohan thread, and I wanted to break it out here to get some more input.

    If you want to write something is, say, between $1 million and $2 million, is it....

    A. $1-2 million
    B. $1-$2 million
    C. $1 million-$2 million

    Although C seems to be the most technically correct, it really looks cumbersome and I don't recall seeing it that way in print. Between A and B, I'm guessing perhaps A would be better.

    Anyway, what say you SJ?
  2. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

  3. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Why not like you have it there?
  4. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    C. It's actually in the stylebook:

    Do not drop the word million or billion in the first figure of a range: He is worth from $2 million to $4 million. Not: $2 to $4 million, unless you really mean $2.
  5. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    OK, to throw this thread a curve:

    What if it's in a quote? What if Joe Team Owner said, "The cost of the new stadium is in the three hundred to four hundred million dollar range, and we're working on lining up financing now." When you put that in print, do you say "$300-400 million dollar range," or "$300 [million] to $400 million," or do you write around it?

    Just wondering.
  6. If you're quoting him directly, put million in brackets, like you have done here. Unless he means 300 hundred dollars as the minimum for financing.

    There's a great passage in Jim Bouton's "Ball Four" where two players bet on the attendance for that day's game. The player offering the bet says he predicts there will be between "fifty to fifty-five thousand fans" at the game. One player backs off, smelling a trap. Another takes the bet. When "only" 48,000 fans show up, he still has to pay up. A costly lesson in grammar.
  7. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I used to reread Ball Four all the time as a kid, and don't remember that one. Not saying it's not right, I just don't remember it.

    It's definitely C.
  8. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    I'd avoid the issue by paraphrasing. When stating figures and facts like that, I don't think it adds anything to the story to use a direct quote.

    In the case of a quote that adds color, I'd say write it as it was said and people will get the meaning.
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