Writing Height in Dialogue


Dear Sue…

People speak in words rather than numerals. That’s why you wouldn’t type, “Dude, I called you 2 times!” into your fictional dialogue. Same thing goes for typing a measurement into dialogue. The height measurement in your example should be spelled out in this manner: “five-feet-four.” For a character with a more casual speaking style, “five-foot-four” or “five-four” will do the job nicely. Since internal thoughts are essentially unspoken dialogue, they get the spell-out treatment, too.

Happy writing!
The Editor


  1. Uh-oh. I do it that way in dialog, but not in the third-person narrative. (And clock times are confusing, too.) Thanks for the heads up, and like Sue, I’ll be heading off to fix my ms…

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