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Anonymous:
Hi - Anyone know if this is correct? Or should it be '0.500 inches'? If so, why?

This tank’s original shell thickness is less than 0.500 inch; therefore brittle fracture is not a concern per Sec. 5.3.7
Hello Anon

You would say "inches", e.g. 0.256 inches.

MrP
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I am inclined to say "inch" for any length less than or equal to 1 inch.
-1.1 inches
-0.98 inch
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Anonymous:
Dear MrPedantic-

I was very glad to see this thread because I have been debating this very issue with a colleaugue. I also believe that the correct answer here would be inches, but I'm not sure this site will provide enough documentation for her to accept my answer. Can you cite a rule or reference that I can look up to "prove" this to her? Thanks in advance.
Hello Anon

I don't know of an authority for "inches", but will continue to look. (There may also be a difference in US/UK usage.)

Danyoo's reply reminds me of another format:


0.876 of an inch
I'm afraid the (London) Times Style Guide reproaches me for my earlier "ins", by the way:


"The abbreviation takes no point and no “s” in the plural, eg, 14km, not 14kms."
MrP
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(Though you are looking for more than opinions, that's all I've got for now): with a decimal construction, I'm more familiar with 'inches', no matter what the value is.

LATER: Google gives a drastically different picture, however. On '0.050', its 23,000 on 'inch', and a handful (755) on 'inches'.
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"The abbreviation takes no point and no “s” in the plural, eg, 14km, not 14kms."

MrP,
Another interesting point to note is the International System of Units uses this convention where prefixes meaning greater than 1 are written with a capital letter (60 Mbit memory) whereas prefixes meaning less than 1 are written with a small letter (89 nm). With the exception that kilo (1000), hecto (100) and deca (10) can use either.
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Thanks for that, Danyoo!

I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that my own usage wouldn't bear close scrutiny.

MrP
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Anonymous:
Here is another option: Any number less than ten should be written out.
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