# Writing Numerals...

•  45
I have a question about the numerals in the following sentence:

" A ninethousand-year-old human skull and a
eightthousandfivehundred-year-old marble Mother Goddess statute were found in the archeological excavations at Çatalhöyük, Turkey, which is one of the oldest and biggest Neolithic cities. "
Also taking care of other issues, I would actually write this as:

"Archeologist found a 9000-year-old human skull and a 8500-year-old marble Mother Goddess statute in excavations at Çatalhöyük, Turkey, which is one of the oldest and biggest Neolithic cities."

What do you think?
Thanks!
Ahmet Toprak
(I have used voice recognition software to type this, there may be grammar and vocabulary errors.)
I have a question about the numerals in the following sentence:

You haven't actually asked a question, but if it was going to be "Should the numbers be written as words or as numerals?", the answer is "As numerals". Long numbers are almost always written as numerals.
" A ninethousand-year-old human skull and a eightthousandfivehundred-year-old marble Mother Goddess statute were found in the archeological excavations at Çatalhöyük, ... 8500-year-old marble Mother Goddess statute in excavations at Çatalhöyük, Turkey, which is one of the oldest and biggest Neolithic cities."

Here's my version:
Archaelogists have found a 9000 year-old human skull and an 8500 year-old marble statue of the Mother Goddess in excavations at Çatalhöyük, which is one of the oldest and largest Neolithic cities in Turkey.

1. Note the spelling of "archaeologist", with "ae".
2. Note that it is "a 9000 year-old" but "an 8500 year-old". This isbecause "a" becomes "an" before a word beginning with a consonant. In the case of numerals, you have to think what words you use to say them; here we have "nine thousand" (which begins with a consonant) and "eight-and-a-half thousand" (which begins with a vowel).
3. The word "statute" means a written law, you meant "statue".
4. The phrase "the Mother Goddess" probably needs changing, but youwould need to give more details about her.

5. I'm not sure why "largest" sounds better here than "biggest", but itdoes so to my ears.
Thanks!

You're welcome.
PS You have "alt.usage.english" in your header twice. This is why your message got posted twice. Is its possible that you meant one of them to be "alt.english.usage".? (Second time this has happened today...)

Andrew Gwilliam
To email me, replace "bottomless pit" with "silverhelm"
I have a question about the numerals in the following sentence: " A ninethousand-year-old human skull and a eightthousandfivehundred-year-old marble ... think? Thanks! Ahmet Toprak (I have used voice recognition software to type this, there may be grammar and vocabulary errors.)

I usually give the full article. Just in case it helps, here it is:

*Archeologists found a 9000-year-old human skull and a 8500-year-old marble Mother Goddess statute in excavations at Catalhöyük, Turkey, which is one of the oldest and biggest Neolithic cities. Catalhöyük is 250 kilometers south-west of the Turkish capital Ankara and is among the most important archeological areas. An international team of 120 archaeologists from 21 countries has been carrying out excavations and research at the site since 1993.
The skull has been preserved quite well and the nose is perfectly visible. The Mother Goddess statue is four inches tall and it is the first marble sample ever found.
This year archeologists also found the remains of 12 ancient houses and streets. Geometric pictures and necklaces are also among this year's discoveries. The excavations administration constructed a protective roof over the site last year enabling visitors to see 20 houses of Neolithic Period. 40 more houses will be available for viewing by next year after the construction of more roofs.
Among the scholars who is leading the excavations at Catalhoyuk is Stanford University's Ian Hodder.
See more about Catalhoyuk that the following sites: http://catal.arch.cam.ac.uk/visit/visitEN.html
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(see my earlier post regarding the snipped first paragraph.)
Catalhöyük is 250 kilometers south-west of the Turkish capital Ankara and is among the most important archeological areas. An international team of 120 archaeologists from 21 countries has been carrying out excavations and research at the site since 1993.

Ah, you're using American spelling. In that case, "archeologist" was correct in the first paragraph; you should therefore delete the second "a" in "archaeologists" in this paragraph.
You have spelled Çatalhöyük differently both in this paragraph and again below.
The skull has been preserved quite well and the nose is perfectly visible. The Mother Goddess statue is four inches tall and it is the first marble sample ever found.

I'm unclear what "it is the first marble sample ever found" means. Is this the oldest marble object ever found anywhere in the world? The oldest in Turkey or at this site? Is it the first marble object found at this site?
And to be pedantic, you should be consistent with your use of measurements; you have used kilometers above, but inches here. If you're writing for an American readership, I suggest that you convert the figure in kilometers into miles.
This year archeologists also found the remains of 12 ancient houses and streets. Geometric pictures and necklaces are also among ... of Neolithic Period. 40 more houses will be available for viewing by next year after the construction of more roofs.

I would make the following changes:
"see 20 houses of the Neolithic period"
"Forty more houses..."
Starting a sentence with a numeral is normally avoided in English.
Among the scholars who is leading the excavations at Catalhoyuk is Stanford University's Ian Hodder. See more about Catalhoyuk that the following sites: http://catal.arch.cam.ac.uk/visit/visitEN.html

If Professor(?) Hodder is from Stanford, why do you have a link from the University of Cambridge in the UK?!
Hope I've been of help.

Andrew Gwilliam
To email me, replace "bottomless pit" with "silverhelm"
Thank you Andrew.
* So unlike "8-year-old kid", we do not have a hyphen after the numeral?

* Yes, you are right, I meant to post to alt.english.usage as well. Instead, typed alt.usage.english twice. Getting senile I guess...

* A statue of the "Mother Goddess" ia at:
http://www.focusmm.com/civcty/cathyk08.htm
* As for "archeologists", I think it is the American spelling. Even my voice recognition software writes it that way.
* Coming to think of it, I also think "largest" sounds better. The Turkish translators translate the word "buyuk" as "biggest" without disregard to context:
Bir buyuk adam > A big man. In some cases it should be "An important man".
Bir buyuk proje > A big project. "A major project" sounds better.
Ahmet Toprak
(I have used voice recognition software to type this, there may be grammar and vocabulary errors.)
Ahmet Toprak and Andrew Gwilliam write:
Here's my version: Archaelogists have found a 9000 year-old human skull and an 8500 year-old marble statue of the Mother Goddess ...

* So unlike "8-year-old kid", we do not have a hyphen after the numeral?

No, 9000-year-old is right. Of course, if the noun comes first, then you don't use the hyphens: "a skull 9000 years old".

There is a complication when you're working with metric units, in that metric usage standards require a space and no punctuation between the number and the metric unit symbol. So if it was "a 2-meter-high statue" and you want to use the symbol "m" rather than spell out "meter", the best you can do is the ugly "a 2 m high statue", or change it around to "a statue 2 m high". (British usage tends to be "2m", but that doesn't conform to the standard either.)

Mark Brader, Toronto > "We don't use clubs; they weren't invented here. (Email Removed) > We use rocks." David Keldsen

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(see my earlier post regarding the snipped first paragraph.)

Catalhöyük is 250 kilometers south-west of the Turkish capital Ankara ... carrying out excavations and research at the site since 1993.

Ah, you're using American spelling. In that case, "archeologist" was correct in the first paragraph; you should therefore delete the second "a" in "archaeologists" in this paragraph.

I am changing an article written by somebody else. I guess the original writer must have used British English. I use American English.
You have spelled Çatalhöyük differently both in this paragraph and again below.

Good catch. I was changed all of them to "Catalhoyuk" to make them easier to read here in the US. Some browsers don't do a good job in displaying non-English characters.
The skull has been preserved quite well and the nose ... tall and it is the first marble sample ever found.

I'm unclear what "it is the first marble sample ever found" means. Is this the oldest marble object ever found anywhere in the world? The oldest in Turkey or at this site? Is it the first marble object found at this site?

I have to check with Dr. Hodder on this...
And to be pedantic, you should be consistent with your use of measurements; you have used kilometers above, but inches here. If you're writing for an American readership, I suggest that you convert the figure in kilometers into miles.

Good suggestion, I'm taking care of this right away.
This year archeologists also found the remains of 12 ancient ... viewing by next year after the construction of more roofs.

I would make the following changes: "The site administrators constructed..." "see 20 houses of the Neolithic period" "Forty more houses..." Starting a sentence with a numeral is normally avoided in English.

Interesting. I did not know this.
Among the scholars who is leading the excavations at Catalhoyuk is Stanford University's Ian Hodder. See more about Catalhoyuk that the following sites: http://catal.arch.cam.ac.uk/visit/visitEN.html

If Professor(?) Hodder is from Stanford, why do you have a link from the University of Cambridge in the UK?!

He is originally from Britain. He taught at Cambridge for quite a while before coming to the Stanford University.
Here is a link to his Stanford pages:
http://www.stanford.edu/dept/anthroCASA/people/faculty/hodder.html
Hope I've been of help.

Very much so.
I and a dozen or so people are all volunteers in an effort to produce two radio programs here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Most of us are in technical fields, for example, I am an engineer. Our English can definitely benefit from the guidance of people like yourselves.

Ahmet Toprak
(I have used voice recognition software to type this, there may be grammar and vocabulary errors.)
* So unlike "8-year-old kid", we do not have a hyphen after the numeral?

No, I got it wrong! Speaking personally, I really don't like "X-year-old", I prefer the form "X year-old". But that's just a quirk of mine, so if you're comfortable with "8-year-old kid", then you should also say "9000-year-old human skull".
* Yes, you are right, I meant to post to alt.english.usage as well. Instead, typed alt.usage.english twice. Getting senile I guess...

I'm sure it's that sort of mistake that created the two different newsgroups in the first place. One makes sense to robots, the other makes sense to people.
* A statue of the "Mother Goddess" ia at: http://www.kultur.gov.tr/portal/arkeoloji en.asp?belgeno=1698 See also: http://www.focusmm.com/civcty/cathyk08.htm

Hmm. Obviously we can't know how these people called their goddess, or what their beliefs were concerning her. Clearly "the Mother Goddess" is the standard phrase, so I would leave that unchanged then.
* As for "archeologists", I think it is the American spelling. Even my voice recognition software writes it that way.

Indeed. As you're not American, just make sure you're consistent in using either American or British spelling (I'm deliberately ignoring the fact that there are other varieties of English; these are the two main "standards"). If you're using voice-recognition software that's configured for US English, it seems sensible to stay with that spelling.
* Coming to think of it, I also think "largest" sounds better. The Turkish translators translate the word "buyuk" as ... some cases it should be "An important man". Bir buyuk proje > A big project. "A major project" sounds better.

I'm sure it's caused by the similarity of form. I have trouble remembering that "mayor" in Spanish can mean "older", and not just "bigger".

Andrew Gwilliam
To email me, replace "bottomless pit" with "silverhelm"
(see my earlier post regarding the snipped first paragraph.) Ah, ... therefore delete the second "a" in "archaeologists" in this paragraph.

I am changing an article written by somebody else. I guess the original writer must have used British English. I use American English.

As long as you're consistent!
You have spelled Çatalhöyük differently both in this paragraph and again below.

Good catch. I was changed all of them to "Catalhoyuk" to make them easier to read here in the US. Some browsers don't do a good job in displaying non-English characters.

True.

I suspect that it's because it can be difficult to tell that it is indeed the start of a sentence when a numeral is used. Obviously if the number is written as a word (or words), there will be a capital letter at the beginning to help make things clear.
If Professor(?) Hodder is from Stanford, why do you have a link from the University of Cambridge in the UK?!

He is originally from Britain. He taught at Cambridge for quite a while before coming to the Stanford University. Here is a link to his Stanford pages: http://www.stanford.edu/dept/anthroCASA/people/faculty/hodder.html

Ah, that explains it!

Andrew Gwilliam
To email me, replace "bottomless pit" with "silverhelm"
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