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  1. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Punctuation Words as Words (plural formations)

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by dillseed, May 4, 2014.

    Are both versions correct below? Italicize the word as a word (expression as expression), but leave the s unitalicized? Or, use single markers for the same purpose? This would be for forming the plurals.

    ands, buts, maybes, I dos, I love yous

    'and's, 'but's, 'maybe's, 'I do's, 'I love you's

    Thank you. :)
     
  2. L.T.
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    L.T. Member

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    Personally, I would go with the second.

    Under grammar.about.com, I found the following (take note of the exception at the end):

    6. Generally, Do Not Use an Apostrophe to Form a Plural
    As a general rule, use only an -s (or an -es) without an apostrophe to form the plurals of nouns--including dates, acronyms, and family names:

    • Markets were booming in the 1990s.
    • The tax advantages offered by IRAs make them attractive investments.
    • The Johnsons have sold all of their CDs.
    To avoid confusion, we may occasionally need to use apostrophes to indicate the plural forms of certain letters and expressions that are not commonly found in the plural:
    • Mind your p's and q's.
    • Let's accept the proposal without any if's, and's, or but's.
     
  3. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Thanks again. :)
     
  4. L.T.
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    L.T. Member

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    You're welcome. :)
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there's no valid reason to use italics... it would be seen as incorrect by editors...

    and single quotation marks [which is what 's are] are to be used only for a quote within a quote... there's no other correct usage...

    as a long time nit-picky editor, i see no problem with the simple "ands/ifs/buts/maybes/i dos/i love yous"... i do see a problem with sticking an apostrophe in there, which would make them appear to be more possessive than plural...
     
  6. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Thanks, maia.

    The same, then, would go for:

    to be continueds
    I don't knows
    to-dos and not-to-dos
    how-tos
    dos and don'ts

    etc., right?

    Individual letters require apostrophes:

    A's, l's, p's, q's

    But numbers do not:

    7s, 8s, 9s

    Thanks.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    for the short stuff, yes...

    for longer ones, for clarity, since they're akin to quoted dialog, i usually put them in " "... like this:

    Too many "to be continued"s ruined it for me.

    His constant "I don't know"s are annoying as can be.
     
  8. dillseed
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    dillseed Active Member

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    Thanks. :)
     

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