Subject: Re: plurals vs apostrophes
To: None <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: current-users
Date: 07/26/2000 17:53:26
[ On Wednesday, July 26, 2000 at 11:17:08 (-0700), C Kane wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: plurals vs apostrophes
> I know we can all look this up for ourselves.  But here are two guides
> I found online.
> >From

Pu-leeeze!  That's *FAR* worse than suggesting the New York Times knows
something about the English language, be it the so-called "American"
dialect, or the original British variety.  (Is that "North-American",
"Central-American", or "South-American"?  OH!  You mean the only those
semi-northern untied states of america!  :-)

I think my quote from Webster's is more authoritative!

This from The American Herigate Book of English Usage (available at
<URL:>) is also informative, and perhaps
authoritative to some (and it seems to agree with Webster's too):

     Usage with regard to forming the plurals of letters, numbers, and     23
   abbreviations varies somewhat. In some cases you have a choice
   between adding -s or -'s, although the trend is increasingly to add
   -s alone: three As or three A's; the ABCs or the ABC's; the 1900s or
   the 1900's; PhDs or PhD's; several IOUs or several IOU's. With
   lowercase letters, symbols, abbreviations with periods, and in cases
   where confusion might arise without an apostrophe, use -'s to form
   the plural: p's and q's; +'s; -'s; M.A.'s; A's and I's; 2's. Mainly
   your goal is to be as clear as possible and avoid confusion.

> >From

If you go back a little from the above ilnk and instead go to:

You'll find links to even more related information, such as on the topic
of the possessive form of singular nouns:

> The plural of Russ is Russes.
>     Russ's snowshoes      (belonging to Russ)
>     The Russes' snowshoes (belonging to the two or more people all named Russ)


> The plural of MTA would be MTA's.

It can be, but more commonly it is, as I said "MTAs" thus reserving the
apostrophe form for something possessed by an MTA.  [yes the pun is
intended! :-)]

							Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098      VE3TCP      <>      <robohack!woods>
Planix, Inc. <>; Secrets of the Weird <>