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For example, is it FAQs or just FAQ?

I guess it's either:

Frequently Asked Questions

or

"Frequently Asked Question"s

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marked as duplicate by tchrist, FumbleFingers, Mitch, aedia λ, RegDwigнt Mar 30 '13 at 17:06

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
Is it the collection of questions or do you have more than one FAQ set? –  mplungjan Mar 30 '13 at 14:41
    
What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym is related to this question. –  user19148 Mar 30 '13 at 14:57
    
It can be intended as either singular or plural. However, it will be interpreted as singular, because a reader can't tell the difference in an acronym. Leaving out information ... um ... leaves out information. If you want it to be read as a plural, put an s after it. –  John Lawler Mar 30 '13 at 15:06
    
Related: If a “friend of Bill” is a FOB, would several of them be FOBs or still just a bunch of FOB? –  tchrist Mar 30 '13 at 15:35

3 Answers 3

Maybe you took a tricky example.

Take, for example, DVD.
If you want one DVD, do you write

  • I want a DVD

or do you write

  • I want a DVDs?
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Here are some points which will make you clear about using 's' in acronyms or not;

  1. The argument that acronyms should have no different plural form (for example, "If D can stand for disc, it can also stand for discs") is in general disregarded because of the practicality in distinguishing singulars and plurals.
  2. This is not the case, however, when the abbreviation is understood to describe a plural noun already:

    For example, U.S. is short for United States, but not United State. In this case, the options for making a possessive form of an abbreviation that is already in its plural form without a final s may seem awkward: for example, U.S.’, U.S.'s, etc.

Please have a look at the full wikipedia article to have a complete idea of acronyms and their pluralization


In the example provide by you i.e. FAQ or FAQs ;

FAQ is generally understood to describe a list of questions until and unless you are explicitly mentioning a particular single question like --

ex: One The most frequently asked questions is ...

So considering the second point(mentioned above) regarding acronyms, FAQ is correct and should be used.

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Plurals embedded in acronyms seem to cause a degree of linguistic inconsistency that may not ever be eliminable. First, note that rpm stands for revolutions per minute; pluralization of the first word in this acronym usually leaves us satisfied not to add an "s," but this is not always the case; we do often say "rpm's." An even better example of the sufficiency of first-word pluralization is mph. You really never hear anyone say "mph's." But on the other hand, you almost never hear anyone say "mph." We almost always say "miles per hour."

Some acronyms which are intrinsically plural seem to carry the added "s" in almost all cases. A good example of this is RBI, which in baseball means "runs batted in," but unless it is being used formally (such as in a list of baseball statistics), it almost always is rendered (particularly when spoken) as "RBIs."

Even though some plural acronyms seem to demand an added "s" when we say them (such as RBI), it strikes me that this happens more frequently when the pluralization falls on the last word, as in "frequently asked questions." We do seem to have a fairly consistent tendency to (redundantly) pluralize that kind of acronym, thus: FAQs. Again, however, this cannot be considered a hard and fast rule.

In attempting to extract what might be the most consistent factor determining whether an "s" is added to acronyms which are intrinsically plural, I would have to say this: In print, we tend to be comfortable with the naked acronym (RBI). In conversation, we tend to like the added "s" (RBIs).

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