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Serious Syntax Sal !S570SjDkx. 5498

#Tips & Tricks #Grammar #Discussion

One day I was a writing a story about polychormatic ponies when I suddenly thought about something. I asked myself, like I'm hoping sure every author has at some point, if what I was writing was conveying exactly what I wanted it to. Being me, I overthought and spent a good thirty minutes contemplating not just the words themselves, but their ordering in the sentence, the sentence's position within the paragraph, the specific feeling I wanted the paragraph to evoke, and so on. As this went on I found myself going beyond that, to seemingly simple things like quotation marks to more complex things like the very feeling of a word.

Any English author should know there are rules to the English language. To disregard those rules not only fogs the messages, meanings, and the very story itself to the reader, but oftentimes makes it practically unbearable to the point the reader stops reading not because the story disinterests them, but because sloppy, distracting writing makes them want to stop. A fluid story is a good story; nobody wants to feel like there's a stop sign every twenty feet. To remedy this one must just keep writing and learn. The first story is predominantly the worst thing someone'll ever write, and unless one learns that will never change. Messy writing loses a reader's attention and could even lose their respect. The more fluid the writing, the clearer the window is between the reader and what the author is saying.

I've been proofreading ponyfiction for people for about a year now. I've dipped my feet in stories from a few thousand words to a few hundred thousand, and by now I'd like to think of myself as being pretty adept. I like to think that the errors I point out are the correct ones and that I hadn't missed any in my one, occasionally two passes of a document. By now, I think I've got an idea of what I'm doing but by no means do I think of myself as a professional, and I surely acknowledge that I do make mistakes in my proofreading, even if I'm not aware of them.

That all being said, I feel like sharing what I've learned over the past year in an effort to help clean that window. I'm sure even now that some of the things I identify as rules are wrong or just have rough kinks in them, but I, and I'm sure a lot of you too, would like to marginalize that as much as possible. So let's work together, shall we? Yes, there are things a quick internet search would clear up, but there are a lot of unspoken things in the English language that have to be learned, not necessarily taught.

I'm hoping this thread could stand to have people ask simple questions and receive simple questions in kind. For instance, if someone asks if a certain comma is in the right spot, another person then answers them only to get corrected by someone else. Not only that, but I'm hoping for discussion as well, especially on more complex topics. I've got some topics myself I will be bringing up, as well as my own opinions on them and in some cases my thought processes, such as how I choose the right word to fit the mood of a sentence.

So here's a list of fifteen topics I will be bringing up, preferably in order but no guarantees. I don't know when I'll get around to posting, but I'd like to do so once or twice a week or two. Be warned, I do tend to ramble and to a lesser extent digress, in case that hasn't been figured out by now.

>>5499 Common misconceptions
>>5580 Prereading, proofreading, and editing
>>5814 Numbers
Uppercase versus lowercase
Literal versus figurative
Bold, italicized, and underlined text
Spellcheckers, dictionaries, and thesauruses
Word choice
Word order
Word play, jokes, and puns
Exaggeration and repetition
Quotation marks and apostrophes
Similes, Metaphors, and Personification

After I complete these, I'll be opening the floor for suggestions on which other topics I should bring up.

There's a couple things I would like to note before all this, even though I bet I'll still be saying these later again and again.

>This thread is not to be used as a full editing or reviewing service. There are other threads for that.

>Understand that what I say can be wrong, and what you say can be wrong too.
>There is an exception to every rule, sometimes many, and I doubt I can list them all when needed. Be wary of that.
>Bear in mind that whatever is said should only be considered when it comes to your own writing, and that you should write for what best fits the context of what you're writing.
>I'm horrible at explaining so I sometimes butcher what I want to say.

What I think is really awesome about this fandom, especially with the fanfiction side, is the intimacy of it all. Writers can get immediate feedback from readers, and so often are people willing to help one another; it's amazing. So how about we all work together to help expand our knowledge on the literary devices, proper grammar usage, and the English language in general.
This post was edited by its author on .

A Few Common Misconceptions Sal !S570SjDkx. 5499

File: 1368950190549.png (44.4 KB, 908x869, 1344423357363.png)

A common misconception is something that's, well, commonly mistaken. Not that whatever error made is necessarily wrong, but that it can be jarring and can detract a reader from the immersion of a story. These are just simple mistakes that many authors don't get much of a slap on the wrists about, usually because it's a mistake so widely accepted as being correct. But such is not the case. There are quite a few of these undoubtedly, likely more than what I'm comfortable to comprehend, but I've assembled a quaint little list of four. Why four? Because it's my favorite single-digit number.

Usage of the word "you" and all of its associated forms.
Let me begin by saying there's a difference between storytelling and discussion. With discussion, like with this very post, it's okay to use "you" because I'm talking directly to you, sitting there using whatever means at your disposal to read this. However, in a story it's an entirely different game.With the sole and obvious exception of the second-person narrative, the word "you" should almost never be used outside of dialogue or internal monologue. When this word gets used, it means you the author are directly speaking to the reader. And in most cases that's a bad thing. There are exceptions to this however, such as in diary entries or if the story is to be read as if the reader and character are on opposite sides of a table. But in most cases, where the reader is merely an observer to a story as it unfolds, to directly make contact to the reader is oftentimes jarring and can break immersion. Of course, as I had just said, it depends on the way the story is to be told. Here's an example paragraph where the word "you" is used improperly.

>Pinkie Pie hopped out of Sugarcube Corner, stretching her legs and ready to begin a brand new day. The sun had just finished pushing back the shadows of early morning, basking Ponyville with its warmth. The flowers were crisp as was the breeze that wafted through her mane, and you could almost make out the smiles on the butterflies as they danced about. Pinkie was smiling along with them as she merrily made her way over to Fluttershy's cottage.

I don't think I need to say this, but I probably should. It's painfully obvious that the word "you" is second-person, while the above example is in third-person. Perspective shifts in a story themselves are almost always no-nos, in case you didn't know. "She" or more universally "one" would work much better instead of "you."

Ponyify ALL the things!


People often see it necessary to replace every instance of the word "man" with "pony" and the words "foot" and "hand" with the word "hoof." That is simply not the case, and to do so when you're not talking directly about an actual human or humanity, a human foot, or a human hand, it is entirely unnecessary to change it.

Here's a short list of necessary instances.
>This is a triumph for all of ponykind!
Ponykind, not humankind.
>Put your hoof in your mouth and shut up.
As one would say to someone who likes to raise their hand and answer all the questions.
>We walked a mile on hoof to get here!
As opposed to walking on your feet.
>Raises your hooves, it's about to get wild in here!
As opposed to raising your fists.
>Anyone up for a game of hoofball?
This one should be obvious.

Here's a short list of unnecessary instances.
>Man, am I cold!
This is slang, used to express a strong feeling.
>I gotta hand to you, Rainbow Dash, that was awesome.
To hand something, in this case a statement, is a verb.
>Although, beforehand you did say something else.
This is an actual word and has absolutely nothing to do with the appendage.
>I got a bad hand. I fold.
The context here is a game of poker, where a hand refers to the cards the player has.
>They're about a foot away.
This is a measurement of distance.

Notice that these do not directly associate themselves with the human appendages they're named after or even humans themselves. If you're really anal about it, and go so far as to argue over the origins of the words themselves, then go for it. Ponify them. It's not wrong, but it is entirely unnecessary. I only listed a few though and there are many more, so ponify at your own discretion. Just be select about it, please. Nobody needs to read another poker scene where the word "hoof" is used every single sentence.

I would also like to point out soundslikeponies' comment below, or if you too lazy to scroll down one post I'll link it here. >>5500 It's something I forgot to mention, and is in fact quite an easy and helpful thing to know. While applied to the context here as with "hand" [→] "hoof," this also works in just about any regard. In any event that you become skeptical of what you're writing, if you're wondering if what phrasing being used is correct, it can always be worked around.

If I'm using "anybody," I should make it "anypony" as with all similar instances.
Not necessarily. While this is true in most parts and I would actually encourage it, it all depends on the context. I can't name how many instances where the word "anypony" was used by a gryphon, which I may point out are not ponies. Make sure that when you tag "-pony" on to the end of a word, make sure that every character in referral is in fact a pony. Remember that "one" is universal, so words like "anyone" are just fine.

I don't think the reader knows what I'm saying, so I must tell them!
To do this, above all else, is how an author can make a reader feel like an idiot and lose their respect. Am I saying it's wrong to summarize something, whether it be an idea, event, or personality of a character? No. But with everything, it all depends on context. Summary can be a good thing, for example where a character takes in everything that's happened to them throughout a story, and at the very end condenses it all into a paragraph or less for an amazing epiphany and change in direction or resolution. However, those sort of moments take time and normally tens of thousands of words, perhaps more, words that I don't have the will to write right now.

No, but summary is often used, especially by accident, at the very end of a short series of events. By default, if the summary is of something that had happened in a short period of time, it is a good idea to get rid of it. For instance, here's an example of summary that I bet will make you feel rather insulted.

>Rainbow Dash soared through the sky, her wings beating as fast as her heart with every sharp maneuver she made. The cloudscape was becoming incredibly more condensed the farther she flew into it, but the thrill, the mere challenge in front of her was something she just couldn't turn down. True, she could've followed Twilight's advice and wait for it to clear up before embarking eastward, but where would be the fun in that? The fun was here, coursing under her wings and through her mane. She was having fun because she liked to fly, not because she deliberately ignored Twilight.

Now don't you feel a little insulted by that? The last sentence of the above paragraph basically summarized everything that had been inferred to you, the reader. The main problem with short summarizes like that one is that the author is worried about whether or not their message is being conveyed or not, so they flat-out say it. But, like I said earlier in the opening post, those kind of summaries are like stop signs and break the flow of reading. It's almost like the author doesn't trust to reader to understand what is being said, and it's a quick way to lose that reader. Trust your audience when you write.

And that's the first installment, to get some sort of idea of what I hope to achieve here. Tell me what you think and if I should continue or not, and please, do talk amongst yourselves with other on-topic discussions and help each other out. It's the main purpose I wish to establish with this thread aside from my lollygagging.
This post was edited by its author on .

soundslikeponies!bQsJPGMNfw 5500

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Good write up. Admittedly more well thought out and edited than my rambles.

I agree with your points, except one. In a lot of cases, use of the word hand just doesn't make much sense in a pony world. And rather than using it, you can easily enough figure out work arounds. One of the nicest features of the English language is how many ways there are to say the same thing.

>I gotta hand to you, Rainbow Dash, that was awesome.

I gotta admit, Rainbow Dash, that was awesome.
I gotta give it to you, Rainbow Dash, that was awesome.
>Although, beforehand you did say something else.
Although, before that you did say something else.
>I got a bad hand. I fold.
I got a bad draw. I fold.
I got no luck. I fold.

>They're about a foot away.

Now, there does happen to be a metric system (the better system) which you can use. It also happens to be full of unambiguous terms. But alternatively, you can find other ways to express distance.

It was a step away.
It was within reach.

Point I'm trying to make is that you don't have to ponify any of these things. You can just work around them.
This post was edited by its author on .


> Usage of the word "you" and all of its associated forms.
You could argue that there isn't such thing as a "second person" perspective. Think of it like this: first person means the narrator is speaking from their perspective. Third person is if the narrator is speaking from nobody's perspective. But does it make sense for an author to speak from "your" perspective? It's a moving target! You is you, but you is also him, or her! Every person is a different "you", so the perspective cannot possibly be immutable (which it ought to be).

You say "there's a difference between storytelling and discussion", but if there is no second person tense, the use of "you" cannot possibly change tense! The way I see it, there isn't actually much difference tense-wise between prose and regular conversation. Consider the opening of Catcher in the Rye:

> If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.

It's prose. It's first person. But there's also a whole lot of "you" in there – and it doesn't seem at all incorrect, despite being prose.

What am I getting at? Well, what you're saying is right, but this argument is faulty:

> Use of "you" constitutes a shift in tense

> "Tense shifts in a story themselves are almost always no-nos, in case you didn't know."
> Ergo, "you" is a no-no

As you say, though, use of "you" in prose is jarring unless there for good reason. But why is this so? My best answer would be because it is unexpected, and unexpected things draw attention to the words and away from the story, breaking immersion, as you say.

> Ponify ALL the things!

Here's my take on it: ponies speak pony, third-person narrator speaks human.

Fanfiction is no different from normal fiction. MLP fanfiction is just fiction that happens to be set in Equestria. It's a fantasy story with invented civilisations. Very common. But in any fantasy story with invented civilisations, the narrator doesn't start speaking like them. It wouldn't make sense. The story is not meant to be read by these fictional beings. It's meant to be read by humans. So the narrator is fine in speaking like us meatbags.

I will make the argument that "beforehand" et al. only exist because of the names for our appendages. Ponies using hand or any derived word has the implication that the language is not theirs. (Maybe that's what you're going for, though?)

On that note: "man", "woman", "lady", and friends are all a-okay. They've been used in the show by ponies many times, particularly "girls".

Also, "anypony" = "anybody" != "anyone". Some people have incorrectly tried to get me to change "anyone" to "anypony" before. Similarly, "anybody" has been used by ponies in the show before.


Agree with most points, but in particular the poker example I'd have to say that seeing "hand" does give me pause when reading pony stuff. It's fine as a verb, but the word "hand" when applied to cards makes me think of people holding them in, well, hands, and I have to spend a second adjusting to it. You're right, however, that reading "hoof of cards" over and over gets tiring. I think the happy medium is to use "hoof" once or twice, but mostly refer to the group of cards as simply "(his/her) cards" or the like.

>but if there is no second person tense, the use of "you" cannot possibly change tense!
Uh…? If you're writing in past tense and suddenly start narrating in present, you have changed tense. Same thing if you're writing third person and suddenly switch to second person. It only works in narration (like your Catcher in the Rye example) if the narrator adopts, from the beginning, a conversational tone with the reader, that is…
>There are exceptions to this however, such as in diary entries or if the story is to be read as if the reader and character are on opposite sides of a table.

OP essentially means that it's bad form to use "you" idiomatically when the narration/prose shouldn't do so.


How do you switch to second person perspective if there is no such thing?


File: 1369106580636.jpg (56.5 KB, 461x277, 13912725_gal.jpg)

For Peace's sake, just say second person is a point of view and be done with it. This argument is completely inane otherwise.

Another Set Of Eyes Sal !S570SjDkx. 5580

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Prereading, proofreading, and editing. Perhaps you've done some of these or had it done to one of your stories. These terms have been tossed around before, often interchangibly, but one doesn't exactly mean the same thing as another. True, there are similarities between the three, but there are vast differences as well. It'd probably be best for me right now to give a breif description of each, which will then be expanded on later.

Prereading is when someone is just a prereader, meaning they read a story before anyone else, before it gets published to the masses. A prereader often gives the author tidbits of information, like what parts of a story they found interesting or just didn't like. But this information isn't necessarily helpful, and it doesn't have to nor should it be expected to.

Proofreading is when someone acts like a prereader, but they do more; instead of just reading they proofread the story for errors within the text. Whether they be grammatical, technical, or just things for the author to consider, the comments a proofreader leaves are to help the fluidy of the text, making the story clean of errors and thus easier to read before being published.

Editing is when someone goes beyond proofreading, getting themselves inside the author's head to make sure there are no faults in the story itself, not just in the text. An Editor is, in a sense, like a second author or more accurately a sub-author. Whatever an editor does often has profound influence on the story, anything from changing an ordering of events to even introducing and removing scenes or motifs. Of course everything is up to the author on whether or not any of that happens, and an editor does not do any writing themselves, nonetheless they make sure the author takes the story down its intended path and offers input for the greater good of the story being told.

I would like to go the record to say that I do not work for Equestria Daily, the Training Grounds, or whatever similar public service there is because I know I'll be bringing them up. All my proofreading and editing takes place privately within a close inner circle of friends. Nonetheless, it just about always helps for an author to get another set of eyes on whatever they're writing, if not for the writer's sake but the story being written. Any help at all is something to be thankful for, and the fact that someone would take the time to go over your horse words about Twilight doing horse things is something awesome. This sort of heirarchy of eyes—prereading being the most basic, editing the most complex, and proofreading arguably the most common—lies entirely on the author of the story being looked at, and how comfortable the author is with having someone take a look at their work. It's entirely understandable for an author to be apprehensive when it comes to having someone take a look at their stuff, and there's countless reasons as to why an author would think that. Hell, I used to think like that. I'm pretty sure most everyone thought having another set of eyes was unnecessary at some point, and I'd be willing to bet a good number still do. Not to say there's anything wrong with an author working alone, nor am I saying every author is incapable of doing so, but the story's sake is always in jeopardy and the more people who provide input, the more marginalized that jeopardy can become.

We work on an honor system here in fanfiction, no doubt about that. Peoples' trust has to be earned, and oftentimes it's only dear friends that an author lets take a gander at their story before publication. But I don't think I can properly express let alone stress the importance of having confident prereaders, proofreaders, and editors. What an author sees in their head is not what always gets translated to paper, and having other people being there to point out the overlooked descriptions and errors is never a bad thing. An author can only do so much, and no amount of self-checking will rough out all the kinks here in the fanfiction realm where, debateably, we are all amatuers. All too often I see authors rush their story simply because the people they do trust were unavailable at the time, and they felt a sense of complusion to get the next chapter updated, but in doing so left glaring mistakes behind, and what's worse is that they tend to go unchecked. Don't be afraid the seek out prereaders, proofreaders, or editors that will stand by you, even if it's a simple blog post begging for help. There are many groups on Fimfiction and threads here on MLPchan and on Ponychan dedicated to that.

Now for a bit of a more indepth look-see. Keep in mind, please, that the author gets the final say in whatever changes are made to the story.

Prereaders are the most basic, most simple, most easily accessible people an author can find. But they do not nor should ever be expected to give the more than most basic, most simple responses if any at all. Anyone can preread since all they're pretty much saying is whether they liked a story or not. Hell, in the real world of original fiction an author would be lucky to get anything from a publisher other than a yes/no answer. Here with fanfiction the authors are their own publishers because there are no real hoops to jump through. A story can literally go from a document to being published on the internet in under a minute. But with highlighting websites such as Equestria Daily, however, things are a bit more difficult. There, stories have to be submitted before publication and there are a rules that, with rare exception, must be followed.

Need I remind people that they are called Equestria Daily prereaders and not Equestria Daily proofreaders or editors? There specifically, and even with fimfiction, an author shouldn't expect anything more than a yes/no answer when it comes to their story's publication. To recieve any sort of reason for why a story was rejected, even something as vague as "too many comma splices" should be taken as a miracle. It's not their job to tell an author what's wrong with their story, but it is their job to present to the fandom the best written works the fandom has to offer.

In that regard, Equestria Daily should, in my honest opinion, be used as nothing more than a tool. They have standards, and if your story passes than cool beans, you might be doing something right when it comes to writing. Popularity and ratings are all completely moot, and if an author's reasoning is just to get their face on the front page than perhaps they ought to consider why they're writing.

Proofreading is by far and away likely the most common way someone looks at a story, predominately because the main reason for having somebody look at your story beforehand in the first place is to check it for errors. Google Documents has become and esteemed must-use in the case of proofreading, because of the handy ability to highlight the errors themeselves, but it has faded away from being the medium read a story in favor of Fimfiction. Just be wary of transfering text from GDocs to Fimfiction, because the converter's a bit wonky at times and the BBCode does not directly copy.

The Training Grounds is where one can find a lot of proofreaders. Although, just like with Equestria Daily, paitence is a virtue. These people are volunteers and are not paid to do a good job. I'll admit to it myself: proofreaders miss things. A proofreader can tend to miss a lot of things. As such, I'd recommend getting three or four of them that you can count on, people you've grown to become friends with in the fandom (You should have friends. Do you even watch the show?) just to be sure, more even if what's being written is some grand epic, but even one is a helpful lot. The more the merrier, after all.

Editing is the most difficult of the three types, but it's also the most rewarding. Anyone would be lucky to have just even one truth be told, as they are few and far between. Not to say that there aren't any out there, but a good, trustworthy, reliable editor is hard to come by. They're the people an author loves to hate, looking over your shoulder and constantly smacking you on the head, telling you what you did wrong and sighing pitifully when it happens again. Being an editor opens yourself up to spoilers, spoilers that need to be told, and the sooner the better. If an editor is unwilling to open up to spoilers, then they will fail as an editor. An author essentially has to tell the story before it's actually written, down to just about every twist and significant evernt, ending included. If that fails to happen the editor becomes just a humble proofreader. Having an editor in sync with the author helps the two walk the story to its desired conclusion, hitting every target along the way. An editor should know what an author wants and makes sure that the author doesn't veer off course, makes sure that everything introduced is utilized else be scraped and nothing gets left behind.

Editors are a dime a dozen, and to be honest I wouldn't trust anyone to act as my editor unless they're the closest of friends. In my opinion and editor is best when they enjoy the story being told and want to see it just as completed as the author does. I don't think I can sum up what editing is other than being a second author, but just doesn't do any writing.

Something else to note is that I would highly recommend for anyone to get into proofreading themselves, especially when doing so with others. You'll learn so much it's amazing. In case you haven't learned by now, I don't proofread these posts. I'm lazy like that.

Guh, second series down. Looks like there was a little squabble over second-person perspective, and believe that's my fault. I think I called it a "tense" rather than a form of narration. I should fix that.

Narration is all about the perspective; first being the reader is seeing everything through the character's eyes, second being the reader is actually the character like they're the part of the story, and lastly third being the classic over-the-shoulder. Tense, however, isn't how the story is being told but from what time frame. Present tense is in the now (Rarity is walking home) and past tense is, well, in the past (Rarity walked home). Future tense (Rarity will walk home) is so rare and seldom used well that's not really worth even attempting, unless best told that way of course.
This post was edited by its author on .

Numbers 123 Sal !S570SjDkx. 5814

File: 1370315116691.png (268.9 KB, 1247x1175, 5e4a456er.png)

Consistency. That's the big thing to remember here. Deciding whether or not to use numerals or instead spelling them out is often just a matter of style, but above all be consistent. In the literary world, generally speaking, whole numbers under 101 tend to be spelled out while those above 100 tend to be in their numeral format. In scientific journals, press releases, and newspaper, amongst other similar formats, it's prefered every whole number less than 10 be spelled out. But regardless of format, within every type of publication it's preferred to use the same numeral element in a paragraph. What this means is that if you spell out a number, one shouldn't just hop to writing the numbers themselves in the same paragraph.

>Twilight levitated fifty scrolls and seven quills.
>Twilight levitated 50 scrolls and 7 quills.

>Twilight levitated fifty scrolls and 7 quills.

There is no global write or wrong, but again, consistency is the big factor at play here. That all being said, here's some tips on how to use numbers in the literary format.

Hyphens and Numbers
Should it be written as thirteen meters or 13-meters? Rule of thumb is that when combining two or more words to form a compound adjective in front of a noun, put hyphens between these words.

>Pinkie Pie ate an entire four-foot tall cake.
>The guards run 12-hour shifts, not 14.
>Octavia played her 30-pound cello.

However, when numbers are used as nouns themselves and therefore not being used descriptively, there shouldn't be hyphens.
>Scootaloo won the race by a solid 4 meters.
>The friendship report had fifty words, not sixty.
>Twelve hours later, Applejack was exhausted.

Hyphenate all compound numbers between twenty-one and ninety-nine.
>Applejack can run over twenty-two times faster than Fluttershy.
>There are five hundred and sixty-two animals under Fluttershy's care.

Writing Numbers as Words
For starters, one is more likely to make an error when typing the numeral rather than spelling it out. It's simply because that the words we identify have laws. There is, for the most part, only one way to spell any given word. If a number is seen spelled out rather than typed numerically, the chance of there being an error is dropped significantly. Not to mention that math isn't everyone's strongest subject, and that there's no spellchecker for numbers, you silly. Nonetheless, there are times when it's preferential to use numerical format instead. By and large, it's best used when many strands of numbers are used in short proximity. We do not spell out the numbers to addresses, phone numbers, area codes, coordinates, et cetera. Not to say it can't be spelled out then, but it's a burden on the eyes when done so.

Something else to keep in mind are categories. By this I mean the numbers and their association with each other. Have an example of what I mean.

>All 220 earth ponies in attendance were given four books, whereas the 42 unicorns were given seven.

Under these circumstances, it's perfectly fine to break the consistency rule, because while it's being broken, at the same time it isn't. The ponies have numerical digits while the books have their numbers are spelled out. There's still consistency here, just not in the way it'd usually be expected. But, when in doubt, remember to fall back to the consistency rule.

Dates and Times
This is quite basic, so I don't feel the necessity to ramble on about a lot.

>The picnic is happening on May 4th.
>The picnic is happening on May fourth.
>The picnic is happening on the 4th of May.
>The picnic is happening on the fourth of May.

When expressing decades, it's alright to spell them out but be sure to lowercase them.
>I don't know about you, but Cheerilee was her best in the nineties.

When expressing decades as complete or incomplete numerals, there is no apostrophe after the S. There is one before, however, if the numeral is incomplete.
>Remember, '90s Cheerilee is best Cheerilee.
>Cheerile was in her prime in the 1990s.

Spell out the time of day including quarter and half hours. There is no need to hyphenate. With o'clock the number is always spelled out.
>Rarity wakes up at six thirty every morning.
>Twilight goes to be at eleven forty-five every night.
>Pinkie Pie throws a party everyday at four o'clock.

Only use numerals when the time is exact and/or needs emphasis. It's okay to use either a.m./p.m. or AM/PM. Just be consistent.
>"Be at the library at 9:34 AM sharp," said Twilight.
>Luna was sure to start moving the moon at exactly 10:10 p.m every night.

Use noon and midnight instead of 12:00 AM/PM

Fractions and Decimals
It's best to always spell out simple fractions, just be sure to hyphenate in between.
>Pinkie Pie always puts one-half cup of sugar in her cupcakes.

Mixed fractions can be written numerically unless it begins the sentence.
>The Cakes' go through 10 7/8 cups of flower a day
>Five and seven-third cups of pine cones is what Trixie likes to eat for breakfast.

Express large numbers simply. Again, I stress consistency.
>Fancy Pants owns between four million and seven million bits.
>Photo Finish has over $5000.

Write decimals in figures. Only place a zero in front of the decimal if the decimal does not begin with one itself.
>A patch of poison joke spreads at a rate of 0.81 feet a year.
>The poison joke only grew .08 feet that year.

No apostrophes between the number and the S. Ever. Unless, of course, the number is used as a name. Such as agent 007.

That covers that. I guess. I dunno how to end these things.
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