I do five-eight, but I like the way 5'8" looks because that's normally how you'd see it. But if it's a video, you can't put the little apostrophe or quotation mark because it wasn't said.
I checked my old punctuation book, "Court Reporting: Grammar and Punctuation," from court reporting school to see how they suggested handling it. It doesn't necessarily address when they say the numbers for feet and inches but not "feet" and "inches, but here's what it did say: "Use figures to express measurements of length, volume, weight, temperature, etc. 45 miles, 110 volts, 4 pounds 9 ounces. Note: It is sometimes acceptable to write out measurements when employing numbers under ten. Meggan is about five feet tall."
So I guess you could take from that that five-eight is less than ten and should be written out.
Hyphens, En Dashes, Em Dashes
Q. Can you offer any guidance as to how best to render people’s height? I’ve seen “five feet, two inches” (tall), “five-feet-two-inches” “five-feet-two,” “five-foot-two” (yikes!), “five-two,” all of the preceding with the hyphens placed otherwise or omitted, and, of course, good old 5' 2''. I’ve searched “Chicago” but haven’t found the answer. Help!
A. I would recommend that you write, for example, the following:
five feet six inches tall
5 feet 5¼ inches tall ( or five feet five and one-quarter inches tall)
five feet six
Sometimes “foot” and “feet,” as you’ve pointed out, are exchanged, probably because there can be a gray area between noun and adjective functions. So, “five feet two [inches tall]” can be interchanged with “five foot two [gymnast].” In my opinion the latter is awkward no matter what, and it sounds colloquial.
I started doing that, (using the 35,5)
but then it just looks like
I've left out something (like the extra zeros).
And with all the dashes I have to use from all
the people talking over each other, I don't need another
point on which my transcript is questioned.
so funny that we had this discussion in the last week, because
I've just done a transcript where I've had to address this very
it seemed right just to put five-six in my transcript!!
thanks for all the points of view!