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The Apostrophe with Numbers, Letters, and Abbreviations

English TipRule: The plurals for capital letters and numbers used as nouns are not formed with apostrophes.

Example: She consulted with three M.D.s.

BUT

Example: She went to three M.D.sí offices.
The apostrophe is needed here to show plural possessive.

Example: She learned her ABCs.

Example: the 1990s

NOT

the 1990ís

Example: the í90s or the mid-í70s

NOT

the í90ís or the mid-í70ís

Example: She learned her times tables for 6s and 7s.

Exception: Use apostrophes with capital letters and numbers when the meaning would be unclear otherwise.

Example: Please dot your Iís.
You donít mean Is.

Example: Ted couldnít distinguish between her 6ís and 0ís. You donít mean Os.

Due to the E-Newsletter's large readership, we are unable to respond to individual English usage questions.


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Wordplay

Language trivia:

The word "set" has more definitions than any other word in English.

"Underground" is the only word in English that begins and ends with the letters "und."

 


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