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1. February 2, 1907. (The regular style for the headings of letters; § 520.)
2. Washington was born on (§ 52) the twenty-second of February, 1732. (Or, on February 22, 1732'; the former is the better style for connected writing.)
3. Your letter of the seventeenth of December (or, of December 17th) made us all happy. (This is better than 'Your letter of December 17', unless the year is expressed: 'Your letter of December 17, 1918, made us all happy'.)
4. In the first (tenth, ninety-ninth) year of the Christian Era. (Years containing but one or two figures look better written out than put in such form as 'in the year I of the Christian Era'; for the use of A.D. and B. C., see A.D., § 417.)
5. The conduct of Hastings in 1780 and 1781. MACAULAY. 6. In the session of 1846-1847. — MARK PATTISON. (§ 131.) 7. The winter of 1868-1869 was spent in London.
(3) In addresses the street numbers of houses, and room numbers, are expressed in figures; but the names of streets are usually written out (see § 529):
1. 349 Lexington Road.
2. 205 West Twenty-first Street. (In ordinary correspondence the names of streets consisting of long numbers are usually expressed in figures: 205 West 169th Street.)
3. 133 Old South Building; Room 205; Suite 21.
For figures referring to pages and the like, see § 131.
129. Technical style. In works of a technical nature, such as mathematics, physics, and chemistry, numbers are generally expressed by figures, except at the beginning of a
1. If 25 tons of coal cost $187.50, what would be the cost of 99 tons?
2. Twenty-five tons of coal cost $187.50. Find the cost of 99 tons.
130. Mixed styles. In works of a literary nature, such as history, and in social and business correspondence, it is frequently desirable or essential to introduce numbers. In doing so we should take care not to mix the technical style with the literary style. Rhetorically, round numbers are more effective than exact figures, and should be used when possible. In books of a general nature figures and tabulated matter may be put at the bottom of the page (in footnotes) or at the end of the volume; references to other books, and to volumes, pages, chapters, and so forth, should be treated similarly. In works of a more or less technical nature, in which cross references are helpful to an understanding of the text, the references may be placed in parentheses, as is done in this textbook:
1. The spoils of this fortunate expedition amounted to six thousand captives, twenty-four thousand camels, forty thousand sheep, and four thousand ounces of silver. GIBBON.
2. The audience, consisting of about two hundred persons of moderate means, contributed more than twelve thousand dollars. (Not 'An audience of 197 people contributed $12,347 '.)
3. The furnishings of the building cost nearly two million dollars. (See Vol. IX, p. 714.)
4. I inclose a dollar ($1) for the book, and twenty cents ($0.20) for the magazine.
5. The revenues amounted to $3,144,789.22.
6. I am happy in my work, and have means enough to remain here the rest of the year. My expenses for the past week have been as follows:
7. Any student in regular standing may apply for one of these scholarships. The application must conform to the rules laid down on page 345.
131. Figures connected by dashes. When figures denoting pages, chapters, dates, and the like are connected by dashes, the figures following the dashes are usually given in full, especially in connected writing, § 128, b, (2); in dates before the Christian Era they must be given in full:
1. Pages 200-210, 209-210, 234-240. (If a subject is not continued on consecutive pages, but merely referred to, write 209, 210, etc.)
2. Chapters I-XI, XVI-XIX, XXI-XXIV, XXV-XXX.
3. Years 1893-1895, 1900-1910; 410-409 B. C. Say 'From 1893 to 1895' (not From 1893-1895').
132. Comparison. There are three degrees of comparison, the positive, the comparative, and the superlative:
Adjectives regularly form the comparative degree by adding r or er to the positive; the superlative, by adding st or est. Final y, when preceded by a consonant, is changed to ¿ (as, prettier). A single final consonant, when preceded by a single accented vowel, is doubled (as, gladder; § 393).
133. Comparison with more and most. Adjectives may be compared by prefixing the adverbs more and most to the positive. Many adjectives of two syllables, and almost all adjectives of three or more syllables, are compared in this way only:
1. Fair, fairer (or, more fair), fairest (or, most fair). 2. Upright, more upright, most upright.
Farther and farthest are now generally used of distance (literal or figurative); further and furthest, of something additional :
1. They sailed to the farther shore.
2. He gave no further reason for his absence.
3. Let us pursue the subject no farther. (§ 265.) 4. What was there to be said further? (§ 265.)
Latter and lesser modify nouns, but may not be used as predicate adjectives (§ 158):
1. His latter years. God made the lesser light to rule by night. 2. This amount is less than we need. (Not 'lesser '.)
Little has for its comparative and superlative smaller and smallest (instead of 'littler' and 'littlest', which are dialectal and illiterate); little is often used of persons; small more frequently refers to number, quantity, and the like:
1. The little boy (the small boy', suggesting greater activity and independence, is used colloquially; § 380); a little child. 2. The smallest boy in school. (Not 'littlest'.)
3. A small family; a small loaf; two small fishes.
Older and oldest are the more general words; elder and eldest apply to members of the same family or of the same group, but may not be used as predicate adjectives (§ 158); elder is often used as a noun:
1. Jane is much older than her sister. (Not 'elder '.)
4. The child was wont to listen to his elders.
135. Use of comparison. We use the positive degree when we make no particular comparison; we use the comparative when we compare one object or group with another; we use the superlative when we compare one object or group with two or more:
1. This melon is ripe; it is riper than the apples are. 2. These trees are the largest in this region.
136. Emphatic superlative. For emphasis we may use the superlative absolutely, that is, without comparison:
1. Dearest mother, I miss you every day.
2. The voyage was a most agreeable one.
137. Misuse of superlative. In illiterate and careless speech the superlative is frequently used incorrectly for the comparative (§ 135):
1. John is the poorer of the two. (Not 'poorest '.)
2. They soon got the better of us. (Not 'best'.)
3. I sold the more fertile half of the estate. (Not 'most'.)
NOTE. In a few old expressions the superlative is still in good use for the comparative :
1. She would die first. (= sooner or rather.)
2. I had the worst of the bargain. (= the worse half.)
3. He was evidently putting his best foot foremost.