More plurals


You are getting vee-e-ery sleeeeeepy....

Before we can move on, I need to amend the post concerning the pluralization of proper nouns (i.e., names) that end in the letter “y.” I got questions like “But Conan, what about words that end in ‘i’ or ‘o’? What about a noun that ain’t so proper, like ‘attorney’? What then, o Great Grammar Genie?”

Okay, folks, listen up. Same rule we discussed last month applies — apostrophe  s renders the noun, proper or otherwise, possessive. So it’s not “two attorney’s walked into a bar” but “two attorneys.”

It’s not “I had two Eggo’s for breakfast” but “two Eggos.”

Not “Dave drank ten chocolate martini’s” but “martinis.”

It’s the same thing we talked about before — placing an “s” after an “i” makes you want to pronounce it with a short “i” — mar – tin – is. In the case of both “i” and “o,” you desperately want to prop up these lonely, meek vowels with an “e,” don’t you? Now, I know your motives are pure — because that’s what you do with many nouns ending in “o” to make them plural:

potato(es)
echo(es)
hero(es)
tomato(es)

But plenty of others you don’t:

pianos
solos
cellos
studios
stereos

And in the case of words ending in “i,” you never add an “e”:

broccoli
zucchini
spaghetti
salami
safari
tsunami
ski
alibi

(Interesting, isn’t it? I can’t come up with any English nouns that end in “i” –all of the above are in languages other than Limey.)

As a special bonus, below is a list of other things people get confused about when it comes to plurals:

1900s (not 1900’s)
’70s (not 70’s)
PDAs (not PDA’s)
PCs (not PC’s)
ISPs (not ISP’s)
CDs (not CD’s)
DVDs (not DVD’s)

When in doubt, dear friends, consult your dictionary (no, really!) But never, NEVER use apostrophe  s. Or I will hunt you down with my Red Pen of Wrath and make you pay, do you hear me?

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