Punctuation: Commas in numbers

September 20, 2007: Issue 205

Remember to use commas in numbers bigger than 999:
16,500 square feet
1,240 pages

The one exception is calendar years:
a house built in 1975
the 2004 election

Why the distinction? Consider the difference between these two phrases:
the 2,000 participants
the 2000 participants

For numbers in the millions and up, spell out million, billion, etc., when possible:
$2.3 million
more than 7 million people

Just for fun: Find names for ridiculously large numbers.

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