What planet are we on?
(19/04/07)

Dear Sci-fi-online,

In one of his recent book reviews, Richard McGinlay wonders about the way planets names are given in a book. He does not like what he considers an inconsistency, namely that a planet's moniker is given as, say, Veridian Three in one instance, but as Veridian III in another.

He clearly believes that this is the result of poor writing and/or editing, but this is not the case. In fact, the planet names are given as proper English grammar dictates. In exposition, planets are written with a Roman numeral, while in dialogue, the numbers are spelled out. Again, this is according to the rules of English, the theory behind the rule being that people do not speak in numbers, they speak in words.

I though Mr. McGinlay might appreciate knowing this.

Regards,

David R. George III

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