# Why do you think media often round large numbers and record them in non-standard form? Explain

boblawrence | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

The print media have general rules for expressing numbers.  They are found in the Associated Press’ Style Manual.

Here are examples:

Spell out numbers under ten, use figures for over nine. Examples:  "seven, eight, nine, 10, 11 and 12".

Always spell out numbers if they begin a sentence.

Use figures for ordinal numbers above ninth, and spell out under 10th.  Examples:  “Fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th”.

For large numbers, use following formats:  28 million or \$28 million.

Never use Roman Numerals unless they are part of a name (e.g. WWII).

Spell out approximate numbers.  Examples: “ a half million, about four hundred”.

In summary, it is the object of the print media to communicate numbers in a way that they read easily and clearly.  Since the numbers are not being used in mathematical calculations, there is no need to write them in standard form.

clayton188 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted on

Example: 3,002,381 people died from a certain cause last year.

Someone in the media who is trying to fix that certain cause would say over 3 million because it sounds like it could be a lot more than 3 million, and it's not a static number, so it will give people an idea of its growth.

It just kind of gets people to think about the numbers in the situation a little bit more.