Grammar Unusual Plurals of Abbreviations |
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Unusual Plurals of Abbreviations

Thanks to Lawrence K., who responded to my tip on forming plurals of symbols by pointing out that the plurals of some abbreviations are formed in ways other than by adding an s.

Example: pp. = pages

Example: sp. = species (singular); spp. = species (plural)

Example: cc., c.c., C.C., Cc, or cc = copy/copies or carbon copy/copies

Interesting Note: The original meaning of cc was carbon copy. Before photocopiers and computer printers, to make one or more copies of a document, carbon paper was placed between sheets of typewriter paper. Back then, as is the case today, the abbreviation was placed at the end of the document, followed by a colon and the name or location where the copy was sent. Fast forward some years…of course, your e-mail program has this feature, allowing you to send e-mails to any number of people.

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2 responses to “Unusual Plurals of Abbreviations”

  1. Kurt says:

    I simply wanted to thank you for this very informative site. I am a GED teacher, and I am always looking to improve my skill level to best meet the needs of my students. I particularly enjoyed reading about grammatical exceptions; I believe these variations will help me take my knowledge to the next level. Today, I studied, hyphens, quotation marks, semicolons, commas, titles, and into versus in to. So far, the only contradictory work that I have seen on your site is the request to drop the capitals in titles when preceded by a pronoun or an article. e.g. My brother likes our uncle Bob. I was under the understanding that all specific addresses must be capitalized.
    Anyway, thank you for the well-thought-out site!

    • Thank you for your kind words. Our recommendations regarding the capitalization of Kinship Names is consistent with the practices cited in leading reference books such as the Chicago Manual of Style and the Associated Press Stylebook.

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