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Is it first? Or is it 1st?

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in Career Management

Which of these is correct?

1. Please book my reservation for Saturday, June 1st.

2. Please book my reservation for Saturday, June first.

3. Please book my reservation for Saturday, June 1.

Business-writing expert Lynn Gaertner-Johnston offers the example to show how misunderstood this grammar rule is. In a pretest she offers those attending one of her writing classes, she says, this question is answered more incorrectly than any other question.

The correct answer? No. 3.

Here is the rule: When the day follows the month, use a cardinal number (1, 2, 3, etc.). When the day comes before the month or stands alone, use an ordinal number, either spelled out or in figures (1st, first, 2nd, second).

Correct examples: 1st of June, first of June, and June 1.

— Adapted from "Better Writing at Work," e-newsletter by Lynn Gaertner-Johnston, see her Business Writing blog at: www.businesswritingblog.com.

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