AP Style Change - Ages (common sense reigns)
Hallelujah -- common sense returns to the AP stylebook when it comes to ages. Today's style change puts things back the way they were before the ill-advised change a couple of years ago that had us spelling out one to nine for "inanimates" and using figures in all other uses.
Always use figures for people, animals and inanimates: The girl is 15 years old; the law is 8 years old; the 101-year-old house. When the context does not require years or years old, the figure is presumed to be years.
Use hyphens for ages expressed as adjectives before a noun or as substitutes for a noun.
Examples: A 5-year-old boy, but the boy is 5 years old. The boy, 7, has a sister, 10. The woman, 26, has a daughter 2 months old. The race is for 3-year-olds. The woman is in her 30s (no apostrophe).
See also boy; girl; infant; youth and numerals.
See comma in punctuation guidelines.
So sayeth the stylebook. Let us not render it asunder again.
Well, actually, I still think the AP should just say write out one to nine for everything except those few cases such as when a dollar sign is used. But I'll take what I can get, and any time I can get common sense back in the game, it's a good day.