While others comment about U.S. independence from British rule on this American holiday, I’m thinking about another rule: the rule of numbers in dates.
These numbers are rendered correctly:
July 4 is a U.S. holiday.
The Fourth of July is a U.S. holiday.
The 4th of July is a U.S. holiday.
On July 4, 1776, independence was proclaimed.
This rendering is wrong:
July 4th is a U.S. holiday.
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).
Feeling tyrannized by the rules of business writing? Remember that rules abound in other disciplines that communicate: art, design, architecture, music, and many more. Breaking the rules creates new challenges for your audience.
I’ll write again on the fifth, the 5th, July 5.