Section 9.4 in the Spotlight

9.4 Hundreds, thousands, and hundred thousands

“Any of the whole numbers mentioned in 9.2 followed by hundredthousand, or hundred thousand are usually spelled out (except in the sciences)—whether used exactly or as approximations.” 

This section causes some readers befuddlement because “the whole numbers mentioned in 9.2” is ambiguous. It leaves open to question whether or not to spell out numbers like 217,000. After all, 217 is a whole number.

It would have been better for us to write

“The whole numbers one through one hundred followed by hundredthousand, or hundred thousand are usually spelled out.”

two thousand
fifteen hundred
eighty-five hundred
one hundred thousand


132,000 (because 132 is not among the whole numbers one through one hundred)

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