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

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boblawrence's profile pic

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's profile pic

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.