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

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islnds | Valedictorian

Posted December 14, 2011 at 5:46 AM via web

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

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clayton188 | Student , Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted December 15, 2011 at 4:11 AM (Answer #1)

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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.

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boblawrence | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted December 16, 2011 at 8:20 AM (Answer #2)

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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.

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