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The use of "#"



 
ESL Forum | English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms
Present simple negative | Articles: Generic and Definite
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The use of "#" #1 (permalink) Fri Dec 29, 2006 11:01 am   The use of "#"
 

Hi

Could you please tell if if the use of "#" in the sense of "number" i.e, "#4" in a formal style is OK? What about plural--#s 4 and 5? Are the following correct in a formal style? Which one is most natural?

1- Sentence # 6 is incorrect.
2- Sentence no: 6 is incorrect.
3 -Sentences numbers 5 and 6 are incorrect.
4- Sentences #s 5 and 6 are incorrect.

Tom
Tom
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The use of "#" #2 (permalink) Fri Dec 29, 2006 11:21 am   The use of "#"
 

I've only seen the sign # for number used by Americans. As to its use in a formal context, let's wait for someone else's opinion.

Personally, and as I've been taught, I try not to use abbreviations in formal writing.

I'd write:

Sentence number/no. 6.
Sentences number/no. 5 and 6 (though the plural 'numbers/nos.' is used too).
Conchita
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The use of "#" #3 (permalink) Fri Dec 29, 2006 17:48 pm   The use of "#"
 

Tom wrote:
1- Sentence # 6 is incorrect.
2- Sentence no: 6 is incorrect.
3 -Sentences numbers 5 and 6 are incorrect.
4- Sentences #s 5 and 6 are incorrect.

Of the sentences above, only numbers 1 and number 3 are correct. Frequently you can abbreviate "number" as "No." and say, "Sentence No. 6 is incorrect." I wouldn't put a plural S after those hash marks.

The Gregg Reference Manual is a very complete, very useful book, and everyone who has to write a lot should have it (or something like it). Here is what it says about these abbreviations:

Quote:
If the term number precedes a figure, express it as an abbreviation (singular: No.; plural: Nos.). At the beginning of a sentence, however, spell out Number to prevent misreading.
...
If an identifying noun precedes the figure (such as Invoice, Check, Room, Box, or the like), the abbreviation No. is usually unnecessary.
...
The symbol # may be used on business forms (such as invoices) and in technical matter.

Based on this, you could just write, "Sentence 6 is incorrect," and, "Sentences 5 and 6 are incorrect."

By the way, there is a town in my area that used to be called Pekin Township, after the Chinese capital Beijing. However, now the name of the town is Novi, pronounced [nouvai]. It got that name because it was the sixth stop on the interurban railway, and the sign at the station said "No. VI".
Jamie (K)
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Joined: 24 Feb 2006
Posts: 6771
Location: Detroit, Michigan, USA

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