General  I Money  I  Telephone Numbers  I  Time  I  Date/Year Ranges


Spell out at the beginning of a sentence, unless a calendar year.

Spell out numbers under 10; use figures for any number 10 or greater unless it begins a sentence.

Spell out and hyphenate fractions if the number is less than 10.

  • two-thirds, one-half

If the number is 10 or greater, the fraction is a figure also.

  • 24 1/2

For ordinals, follow the same rule.

  • The ninth problem was hard, but the 10th was much easier.

Use the word “percent” instead of the symbol, unless in a chart or other statistical format.

  • Three percent, 100 percent

Spell out grade levels.

Do not use nd, rd, st, th with dates.

  • Use: Convocation is on October 2.
  • Not: Convocation is on October 2nd.

It is ok to use them with floors (for ex: within buildings on campus)

  • 2nd floor, Administration building
  • 7th floor, Albin O. Kuhn Library

Use an apostrophe to indicate dropped numbers. Add “s” to show plural.

  • class of ’72
  • 1990s
  • The ’90s are known for the “grunge” look.


Use a dollar sign and numbers; do not use a decimal and two zeros.

  • Use: $100
  • Not: $100.00

Use figures with million or billion.

  • Use: The campaign raised $50 million
  • Not: The campaign raised $50,000,000

Telephone Numbers

Area codes should always be used in external and internal communications and should be followed by a hyphen. Area codes should not be contained by parentheses. Hyphens should not be replaced by periods.

  • 410-455-1000


In print, emails, and other communications created manually:

  • Lowercase should be used for a.m. and p.m. with periods between letters. When a time falls on the hour, omit the zeros.
    • Use: 8 p.m.
    • Not: 8:00 p.m.
  • Use noon and midnight instead of 12 a.m. and 12 p.m.
  • For time ranges, use an en dash surrounded by one space on either side between numerals.
    • Use: 2 – 4 p.m., or 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    • Not: 2-4 p.m., or 9-2 p.m.

In posts generated in myUMBC (and pulled into Sites via myUMBC), the format of times will be standardized for those systems.

Date/Year Ranges

For date/year ranges, use an en dash surrounded by one space on either side between items.

  • Use: January 2 – February 4, or 11/22/15 – 12/3/15, or 2017 – 2019
  • Not: January 2-February 4, or 11/22/15-12/3/15, or 2017-2019