Learn English – When to use “1” vs. “one” for technical writing


I currently am in the middle of a discussion about the proper use for when to use the numeral "1" versus "one".

There are two sides to this argument:

1) In technical writing, numerals should always be used.

The company hired 4 interns, but the fifth 1 left

Patch management is 1 of the best ways...

The client should create a 1-way trust

2) When using it as a pronoun or as an unspecified measure, "one" should be used.

One of the things to consider

The assessment met one common standard

Can someone please provide some insight for clarity? Thank you in advance.

Best Answer

Why not write:

The company hired 4 interns, but the fifth intern left.

That is in keeping with your style guide and the meaning is much clearer. The "1" in your example refers to a person (the intern) not a number.

If you're looking for other style guides as sources you could try Chicago or, if it's for technical writing, Microsoft.