Plural of 'OS' 15 replies

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Revenge VIP Member

Shizzle my nizzle

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28th July 2004

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#1 12 years ago

This is really pissing me off. On a certain Wikipedia page a user is saying that 'OSs' is the correct plural for the acronym 'OS', whereas I am saying it is 'OSes'.

I've used 'OSes' for a very long time. I believe that acronyms ending in 's' cannot just have another 's' stabbed on to the end, since that would change the pronunciation and not the number of operating systems being described. Like you would say 'hiss', 'OSs' to me sounds like 'oh-essss' as opposed to what it should be - 'oh-ess-es'.

What do you think? I think I'm right, of course, and I have a friend with an IQ of a billion who uses 'OSes' too, but this Wikipedia boy claims to have proof from the Oxford Manual of Style. The Oxford Dictionary, however, doesn't have anything on the matter.

A note on 'OS's' - this is the old way of saying it. It is still a half-standard in the United States, but in Britain we stopped using the apostrophy in this hideous manner a long time ago. Read Eats, Shoots and Leaves if you want to learn more about using the apostrophy properly.




GOD111

I Am Teh God

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1st July 2004

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#2 12 years ago

Wow talk about luxury problems:lol:

And no, I have no clue what so ever:confused:




the1chaos VIP Member

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#3 12 years ago

How about just typing or saying "Operating Systems"? :p

I'd however lean to OSes, mostly because of the pronunciation. But then again, Firefox' dictionary is telling me to use OS's. I'll however stick to the first.




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#4 12 years ago

My girlfriend, who studies English, thinks "OSs" is right, she doesn't know any rules for such cases though.




Reno

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#5 12 years ago

the1chaos;3350077How about just typing or saying "Operating Systems"? :p

I'd however lean to OSes, mostly because of the pronunciation. But then again, Firefox' dictionary is telling me to use OS's. I'll however stick to the first.

OS's is possessive not plural. OS is the name and " 's " is the the possessive conjugate.

I think you are right when you say it is operating systems. I don't think your suppose to make an acronym plural.




Revenge VIP Member

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#6 12 years ago

Purely from a phonetic point of view, though, saying 'OS-es' is the correct way of saying it. Saying 'OS-s' does not actually sound like it's supposed to sound. If I'm wrong, then I still think it should be 'OSes' simply because saying 'OSes' out loud works.

the1chaosBut then again, Firefox' dictionary is telling me to use OS's

Firefox's!

Saying 'OS's' is basically saying 'operating system's' as if 'operating system' were a person. It's definately not that ;).




Memorex

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#7 12 years ago

http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/gerv/archives/007925.html

Have a look at that thread, they are discussing it there too :)




Dreadnought[DK] VIP Member

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#8 12 years ago

The -e part of the postfix is for pronounciation. When writing i only use an s in the plural.




Chris

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#9 12 years ago

It's gotta be OSes. Think about the pronounciation.




Snake Morrison

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#10 12 years ago
WikipediaIndividual letters and abbreviations whose plural would be ambiguous if only an -s were added are pluralized by adding -'s. mind your p's and q'sA.A.'s and B.A.'sthe note had three PS's Opinion is divided on whether to extend this use of the apostrophe to related but nonambiguous cases, such as the plurals of numerals (e.g., 1990's vs. 1990s) and words used as terms (e.g., "his writing uses a lot of but's" vs. "his writing uses a lot of buts"). Some writers favor the use of the apostrophe as consistent with its application in ambiguous cases; others say it confuses the plural with the possessive -'s and should be avoided whenever possible in pluralisation, a view with which The Chicago Manual of Style concurs. Acronyms are initialisms used as if they are words. Clearly, it is not desirable to pluralise the initialism laser as laser's. Thus the most consistent approach for pluralising acronyms is to simply add a lowercase -s as a suffix. This works well even for acronyms ending with an s, as with CASs (pronounced "kazzes"), while still making it possible to use the possessive form (-'s) for acronyms without confusion. The traditional style of pluralising single letters with -'s was naturally extended to acronyms when they were commonly written with periods. This form is still preferred by some people for all initialisms and thus -'s as a suffix is often seen in informal usage.

I win, I win!

Note that it is still pronounced "Oh-es-es," but spelled "OSs"




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