[linux-elitists] My Anti-Qmail Page

Bob Bernstein rs@bernstein.providence.ri.us
Sat Nov 5 11:32:23 PST 2005


Rick Moen wrote:

> 4.  Re:  "qmail lags behind other MTA's in its feature-set."  The
> best way to form the plural of an acronym is with "s" rather than 
> apostrophe-s, thus cleanly distinguishing plural from possessive.

I consulted only one reference, _The American Heritage® Book of 
English Usage_, and was pleased to note that either is still acceptable:

"Usage with regard to forming the plurals of letters, numbers, and 
abbreviations varies somewhat. In some cases you have a choice between 
adding -s or -’s, although the trend is increasingly to add -s alone: 
three As or three A’s; the ABCs or the ABC’s; the 1900s or the 1900’s; 
PhDs or PhD’s; several IOUs or several IOU’s. With lowercase letters, 
symbols, abbreviations with periods, and in cases where confusion 
might arise without an apostrophe, use -’s to form the plural: p’s and 
q’s; +’s; -’s; M.A.’s; A’s and I’s; 2’s. Mainly your goal is to be as 
clear as possible and avoid confusion."

http://www.bartleby.com/64/81.html

To my eye, "MTAs" looks at first glance to be either a misspelling, or 
  a typo. Reading it, I would have to double back for closer 
examination, which is what we do not wish to inflict on our readers, yes?


-- 
Bob Bernstein





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