Chapter 06

Language and numbers

This chapter marks the beginning of Part 2 of the book, the reference section, which is a collection of information that you might need in writing about music. Chapter 6 lists some of the most widely accepted conventions in the use of language and numbers, such as how to use apostrophes, whether to write numbers in words or figures, how to avoid biased language, and how to deal with some tricky spellings.

To see a sample from this chapter, click here.

Cross references from Music in Words

Two specific cross references occur in Chapter 6 - the abbreviations for US states and Canadian provinces, and transliteration (or the transcription of words from one language into another which uses a different alphabet).

A list of the formal abbreviations of US states is provided by the US Postal Service.

Similar information for Canadian provinces can be found at

This private site, constructed by Thomas D. Pederson, includes some wise cautions about its accuracy, but it contains a vast array of transliteration symbols from a very wide range of languages.

Helpful external Web sites

Oxford DNB Abbreviations lists hundreds of abbreviations used in OUP's Dictionary of National Biography.

The Sources on Monetary History site is a portal to several other sites that deal with the history of money, the values of old currencies, and when and where they were used.

See also Mitchell, International Historical Statistics, cited in the bibliography for Chapter 8.

Chapter bibliography

The Chicago Manual of Style. 15th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Shaw, Harry. Punctuate it Right! New York: HarperTorch, 1996.

Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers. Revised by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams and the University of Chicago Press Editorial Staff. 7th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

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