Writing for Business - A Whatis.com Blog

Dec 23 2009   3:07PM GMT

The plural of “OS”

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
Running only Web apps is expected to make Chrome more secure than other ______.
a. OS’s
b. OSes
c. OSs

Answer: b.

Explanation: Use the usual form for pluralizing a word ending in s, which is to add es. That’s the rule I chose to follow. However, there are those who argue for OSs. See a debate about this issue here.

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3  Comments on this Post

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  • LesterSmith
    The [I]Chicago Manual of Style[/I], as well as the publication manuals of the Council of Science Editors, Modern Language Association, and American Psychological Association, all say "c" is the correct choice. CMS and CSE go on to explain when an apostrophe might be used to pluralize an abbreviation such as PhD. But there doesn't seem to be any documentation at all for "b."
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  • 1rabella
    Lester, Thanks for your comment. We follow AP style (mostly) at TechTarget. My recollection is that I found a reference to that being AP style for abbreviations ending in "s" but I'm not entirely sure. I'll continue to look into this one, but for the moment, I'm sticking with my "treat it as a word" justification. Ivy
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  • HomerJS
    The plural of an acronym is an 's'.  The correct answer is C.  
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