One, two, three,…you know the drill. Spell out numbers under 10 right? Wrong. The 7th edition of the Council of Science Editors (CSE) revises this rule. It is now acceptable to use a numeral in place of writing out a number. This new rule (or rule change) makes numbers more uniform, since they are no longer a mix of numerals and words, depending on their size.

I love the change and believe the new rule is great for writers and scientists alike since it saves time and makes for easier reading. Of course, a few exceptions to this rule exist. Numbers should still be written out if they begin a sentence. If two numbers are adjacent to one another, one of the numbers should be written out to avoid confusion. The numbers one and zero should be written out when not connected to a unit of measure or used as assigned or calculated values. Finally, numbers should be written out when used in figurative language to keep your readers from taking figures of speech literally, which may eventually reduce the number of misunderstandings that could arise.