Friday, November 16, 2007

No rest for the innocent, either

[Interrupting myself I have a question for the LazyWeb: what is the correct abbreviation of "Number" in English: should this be Nr. or No.?

I know that I've seen it both ways, but I believe that "No." is French, and that the abbreviation in English should be "Nr."; however Langenscheidt disagrees with me. None of my English dictionaries lists anything so low-brow as an abbreviation (dignified shudder). What do you say, dear readers?

And now, back to our regularly scheduled program.]

I spent yesterday in the office cleaning up, then walked around town catching up on newly-opened art galleries and the like, then home and poodled about for several hours. It snowed lightly all day, a gentle fall of tiny flakes drifting in nearly still air, but the ground is still too warm for it to settle and accumulate.

The M√ľnsters have a great big presentation today in Canada, of all places, so they are pressing me to continue with the translation. I worked for about three hours yesterday evening, until I found myself starting to make stupid mistakes. Now back to th' mill until 3 pm, then send them the state of play.

More later.

Over the hump at last: sixteen down, fourteen to go.

Labels: , , ,

13 Comments:

Blogger Patti said...

No. is correct, at least here in the states. But I am even lazier and use #. As in, "I came in third, I was #3.

November 16, 2007 at 1:13:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Savtadotty said...

What Patti said. I mostly see # used the the States, except in very formal documents.

November 16, 2007 at 2:09:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

And here I thought I'd be so clever with my information about #. Otherwise, honestly, I hate to abbreviate things.

November 16, 2007 at 4:17:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger zhoen said...

Am/E, No. Mostly, # though. Ask at Separated by a Common Language.

Translating into Canadian. Colour not color. That's all there is to it.

November 16, 2007 at 4:50:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Anonymous S'toon said...

My gut said No., so I looked it up. Wikipedia says No. as well, and my dictionary has nr as an abbreviation for near. In case you're curious, No. is apparently how computers write "the Numero sign":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numero

November 16, 2007 at 5:43:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Wait a minute, you're the translations guy!
But as the others say, in American it's No. or #. I've never seen nr. here.
How long before you find out about the design.

November 16, 2007 at 6:08:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Anonymous liquicat said...

at work we use No. for offical decision numbers etc.. and we follow the oxford english dictionary.

November 16, 2007 at 6:59:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger pohanginapete said...

Yes, it's "no." here (Aotearoa/New Zealand) too. If you use "nr", editors will kick your arse (not your ass, which is only a donkey).

New Zealand English uses the same spellings as Australian, UK, and well, most English-using countries except the obvious exception. Perhaps it adds colour to our behaviour.
;^P

November 16, 2007 at 7:57:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Jean said...

I've never seen Nr. either. And # doesn't exist in the UK, though most of us are now familiar with it from North American usage, of course.

November 16, 2007 at 8:05:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Udge said...

Wow, this Lazyweb works really well! Thanks for the input, my dears.

I must have been confusing German usage with English (-speaking), "Nr." is the standard here, I assume that it coloured my memories. I couldn't get past the word "number" which as far as I can tell contains not a single "o". I wonder where that comes from? (the Wikipedia surely knows.)

November 16, 2007 at 8:33:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Anonymous May said...

Nr. is used in Italian more frequently than No.

November 16, 2007 at 8:55:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Udge said...

S'toon is absolutely right, clever young woman that she is. The three-character symbol "No." is a crude approximation of an internationally used graphic symbol № Live and learn, as they say.

November 16, 2007 at 9:05:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Dale said...

It's Latin, orginally, I think -- a very venerable abbreviation for numerus, "number."

Leaving us the mystery again: whence the 'o'? Well, it's the ablative ending, numero. So "No. 9" really means, not just "number 9," but "with respect to number 9."

Perhaps a distinction without a difference, but hey, I love that kind of thing.

November 17, 2007 at 8:53:00 p.m. GMT+1  

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