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7.64 Plurals

Certain plurals are sometimes written with ’s:

  • abbreviations whose appearance would otherwise be ambiguous or confusing (see 1.04 Plurals) and the plurals of lower-case letters, symbols and numerals:
    • c.o.d.’s
    • x’s
    • +’s and -’s
    • POW’s
    • a’s and w’s
    • 6’s

    Another solution is to italicize the letter, symbol or numeral in question (see 6.11 Mathematical, statistical and scientific material).

  • cited words:

    an overabundance of is’s and which’s

    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