1. BRWriter
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    BRWriter New Member

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    To "s" or not to "s"?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by BRWriter, Oct 17, 2015.

    Hi all. New kid on the block here, and I have a question. I have written a nonfiction work concerning parents and their relationships with their adult child or children. In the body of this work I use the abbreviation of "AC" for Adult Child and "ACs" for Adult Children. My editor feels that the use of "ACs" is awkward as it actually translates to Adult Childrens. She advises dropping the "s", as readers would mentally adjust "AC" to singular or plural depending on the context of the usage within the sentence. I would appreciate any comments on this issue.
     
  2. Aire
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    Aire Banned Sock-Puppet

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    Why not just call them Adult Children and Adult Child. I personally would find a book calling characters AC / ACs a bothersome read.
     
  3. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with your editor. People will naturally insert children or child depending on the context. AC should work fine without the s.
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would check style guides on pluralizing acronyms.

    I don't know what that will tell you, but I disagree with your editor. When I read an acronym, I don't mentally expand the words; I "read" the acronym.

    For example, when I see the acronym MIL in the various family discussion groups I read, my brain doesn't read "mother in law" it reads, "mil", as in "milk" without the "k". And when they're discussed in plural, the "mother" isn't change to "mothers" leaving the acronym unchanged--the whole acronym is pluralized to "MILs."

    This link
    http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/qanda/data/faq/topics/Plurals.html?page=1
    suggests treating the acronym as its own word and pluralizing it accordingly. (Scroll down to the question that starts with "My question refers to the plural use of acronyms and initialisms".)
     
  5. BRWriter
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    BRWriter New Member

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    Many thanks for the responses.
    Thank you for your response, Aire. I did consider this. If the book was a work of fiction and I was treating these as characters in the traditional sense, of course the references would be as you suggest. However, as the work currently exists, I feel that using the abbreviations makes for a much easier read.
     
  6. BRWriter
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    BRWriter New Member

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    Thanks for your input, Lea. I suppose that this may be true, but it just doesn't read right to me. I guess my brain doesn't make that adjustment. But then, I know what I'm trying to say.
     
  7. BRWriter
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    BRWriter New Member

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    Ah-ha! Thank you, ChickenFreak. This is what I've been searching for the last several days. I just didn't phrase the query correctly. Many thanks.
     
  8. Masterspeler
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    Masterspeler Active Member

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    I can confirm this in casual speak as well. Acronyms get pluralized (pluraled? pluralified? purified...damn it. Im tired and on meds!)

    So things like BDUs (battle dress uniform), ACUs (army combat uniform), DCUs (desert combat uniform), BOLOs (be on the lookout), APUs (auxiliary power unit), ACs (aircraft, which is plural with an s, like your example), MREs (meal ready to eat which gets the s at the end, as meals ready to eat would be the same) etc.

    AB
     
  9. BRWriter
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    BRWriter New Member

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    Thanks, Masterspeler. I see your point and totally agree. Appreciate the input.
     
  10. Masterspeler
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    Masterspeler Active Member

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    Glad to help. I just realized that the examples weren't all to clear. Aircraft is both singular and plural, but AC is not the same as ACs. I see it on the news all too often. Weird terms that nobody uses except stupid reporters that think they're coming up with some new "cool" techno terms.

    Aircrafts is one that bugs me to no it. It's aircraft! And what is a copter? Helo, Chopper, or heaven forbid actually saying helicopter, but copter? It sounds completely idiotic and shows their stupidity. Nobody, military or pilot use that term...ok, that was a bit of a digression. The ACs made me thing of it!

    AB
     

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