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Yep, it’s LVII

Published about 1 year ago • 1 min read

What about the Super Bowl (not Superbowl) appeals to you? Maybe it’s the commercials, maybe it’s the food. Maybe it's even the game itself. Or perhaps it’s nothing at all. Even if that is the case, you’re still likely to hear about the game this weekend. We’re here to tell you that when you do, you’ll see two high-profile examples of relatively low-profile features of writing.

You may have guessed the first one already: Roman numerals. While you shouldn’t automatically adopt them just because they’re part of an official name, you should do so in well-known uses, such as the Super Bowl. World War I and World War II are two other examples. And don’t forget about popes’ names. “Pius 12” just doesn’t quite do the job.

The second example is the elusive en dash. Maybe you’ve heard of — or used — the em dash like we just did here. It’s the longest of the dashes and is used for emphasis. You also probably use hyphens a lot. But where does the en dash (–) fit in? One place is, you guessed it, sports scores.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, this isn’t the first time we’ve used football to discuss the finer points of the English language. If you weren’t a subscriber in November, you can read our newsletter on dangling modifiers here.

What sports-related writing questions do you have? Hit reply and let us know.

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