apostrophe: plurals

Certain plurals are sometimes written with ’s:

  • abbreviations whose appearance would otherwise be ambiguous or confusing, and the plurals of lower-case letters, symbols and numerals:
  • c.o.d.’s
  • POW’s
  • SIN’s
  • x’s
  • a’s and w’s
  • +’s and -’s (pluses and minuses)
  • 6’s (or 6s)
  • cited words:

an overabundance of is’s and which’s

Note: It is not necessary to use the apostrophe in set expressions such as “the dos and don’ts,” “no ifs, ands or buts,” “the whys and wherefores.”

  • words not conveniently pluralized:
  • all the Toms, Dicks, Harrys and Louis’s
  • all the Lao’s in Laos

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