JS Tip 255: From the Writing Workshops: Making Abbreviations Plural

We appreciate your suggestions and questions.

A Question for Us. Eric Orton of the Utah State government asked, “When using an abbreviation such as SR for State Road, and you want to refer to many State Roads, do you use an apostrophe, as in “SR’s”?

Super question.

The key—believe it or not—is periods

If you don’t use periods in the abbreviation, you don’t need an apostrophe: SRs. 

If you do use periods, you need an apostrophe: S.R.’s.

So, since you’re not using periods, you don’t need an apostrophe: SRs.   

If anyone ever asks, you can cite two sources: 

{C}1.    Principle 5, “Form the plural of specific constructions by adding an s without an apostrophe,” under “Plurals” in The Reference Book.

{C}2.   Principle 7.14, “Plurals for letters, abbreviations, and numerals,” in The Chicago Manual of Style

A Question for You. A good friend suggested that Fridays are bad days for tips. People are finishing the week. People are getting ready for the weekend. People are busy. He suggested Tuesday mornings are best.

What do you think? Should we move the tips to Tuesday mornings?

Let us know. We’ll listen to your counsel. 

Thank you. We love this stuff.