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PLURALS

See also individual entries, ABBREVIATIONS, COLLECTIVES, FOREIGN TERMS, LETTERS OF THE ALPHABET, NAMES, NUMBERS, and POSSESSIVES.

As a general rule follow Webster's first plural. But in lists of animals, plants, fish, etc., be consistent if there is an optional plural. With North and South American Indian tribes do not add s for tribal plurals:
            Blackfeet, Inuit, Iroquois, Maya, Sioux

For individuals, s may be added: three Comanches.  But a Blackfeet, Blackfeet nation, the Blackfeet.

1. Proper Nouns: In general proper names form regular plurals:  the Joneses; the Smiths

Personal names ending in y, add s:  two Marys; the various Johnnys

Plural place-names are formed regularly:  the Rockies; the Alleghenies

For places with the same name, add s or es:  the two Germanys; more Parises than one
            
When two or more place-names share a common descriptive element, such as River, Park, etc., the common element is plural and capped:


Thames and Avon Rivers
Grant and Gage Counties

Arches and Zion National Parks  
2. Numbers:


twos and threes
10s and 11s
the 1890s

at sixes and sevens
B-52s
747s

3. Words as words:


dos and don'ts
hows and whys

yeas and nays
yeses and nos
 
4. Abbreviations and Letters of the Alphabet: Plurals of abbreviations without periods are generally formed with s, no apostrophe:


VIPs
GIs
TVs
UFOs

VCRs
IOUs
CD-ROMs
S&Ls
C-54s
PCBs
 
  If a double s combination occurs, add apostrophe plus s:  SOS's

Abbreviations with periods and letters of the alphabet used as nouns take apostrophe plus sPlurals of italicized letters add italic apostrophe plus roman s:


Ph.D.'s
straight A's
Model A's
Model T's

p's and q's
ABC's
his Scottish r's
 
  Plurals of noun abbreviations usually add only s:  vol., vols.;  yr., yrs.

Plurals of Btu and rpm and of abbreviations for metric units are the same as the singular: 12,000 Btu, 2,000 rpm, 2 m, 23 mg, 11.64 L.

5. Ships' Names: Add italic s.
            two Yankees

6. Publications:
            your GEOGRAPHICS            pile of New Yorkers, two Atlantic Monthlys

7. Singular Noun With Plural Possessive: A singular noun can be used with a plural possessive for abstract qualities and figurative words: Four pilots crashed to their death, but four pilots ran to their cars; the men earned their living; the spectators held their breath; the depositors' curiosity was piqued; they kept their honor.