travel highway 45 / forty-five [numbers or words in writing ? ]

aftunk

Member
Spanish - MX
Hello,

In writing literature, is there any preference in using numbers or full words? In this context, it is referring to a highway/freeway.


"You have to travel down highway 45 / forty-five for several hours before you arrive at the state line."


Is there any preference in using 45 or forty-five in this instance when describing highways, roads, etc?
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    This is a matter of style.

    Generally, we (AE) write out whole numbers zero to nine and use digits for everything else. There are exceptions, however, and you just have to learn them.

    For example, highway I-5 passes close to here.

    We do have multiple threads on this subject you can search for.

    Added:

    In the U.S., we always use digits for highways, e.g.

    U.S. 1
    U.S. 6 (also known as Route 66)
    Oregon 219
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Added note:
    It makes no difference whether it's "literature," newspaper style, bureaucratic gibberish, directions to the nearest bar or anything else.:D
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    ou have to travel down highway 45 / forty-five for several hours
    Notice that here the number is used as a name. In other words "Highway 45" is a proper name. So is "Route 66". The word "highway/route" is also part of the name. For these names, we almost always write "Highway 45", not "highway forty-five". Naturally they are the same when spoken.

    The road may also have another non-number name ("The McAllister Freeway"), but for most people the number-name is easier to remember and use. In the U.S., there are both state highways (California Route 17) and national highways (U.S. Route 66).
     
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