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I'm stumped at this forum reply which states that the contracted plural of "regulation" is "reg's".

"Cigarettes" is shortened to "cigs", as far as i know, but perhaps that's because "a cig" is a common term.

How about this:

The makings of a beautiful friendship.

Can it be

The makin's of a beautiful friendship.

or

The makins of a beautiful friendship.

?

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I'm sure you're right about common contractions not 'needing' apostrophes. We never use 'phone or 'bus nowadays. Plurals of unusual contractions do seem to include apostrophes more often, but the picture is far from clear - see the Ngram for cigs,cig's,makins,makin's at books.google.com/ngrams/… . Fwiw, I'd choose makin's. And makin'. –  Edwin Ashworth May 22 '13 at 15:57
    
I'd accept that as an answer. –  Cees Timmerman May 22 '13 at 16:07
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I'm curious why you'd contract out the single "g" in making. Are you going for a colloquial sound? I was taught to use the apostrophe for omitted letters, FWIW. –  Kristina Lopez May 22 '13 at 18:03
    
Yes, but it was mostly the only example i could easily come up with. –  Cees Timmerman May 24 '13 at 15:15

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I just did a Google search for "regs" and found substantial evidence that "regs" is a standard abbreviation for the plural of "regulations".

Pluralizing the abbreviation of "makings" as "makins" isn't possible simply because it's misleading. There is no common noun "makin", but there are proper nouns "Makin". "Makin'" is the word you want to pluralize, so it would have to be "makin's": "He has the makin's of a champion".

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I'd add this link to show the history and popularity of all disputed terms, and this one to note that "regs" still means "regulations". –  Cees Timmerman May 22 '13 at 16:21
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What? Makin? how is that a noun? It's a Japanese group of islands en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makin or some politician - the nGram hardly shows any "makin's of" or "makins of" –  mplungjan May 22 '13 at 16:40
    
@mplungjan: Proper nouns are names, like "Bill", "Rita", "Sally", & "Barack". And Makin Island, & the Division of Makin. Common nouns are the names of things, like "tire", "wheelbarrow", "hose", & "nose". Makin is also an unincorporated community in the US state of Indiana. You won't find many instances of "makin's of". It's strictly dialogue. People will say it, but not many will write it, I'm sure. –  user21497 May 22 '13 at 17:05
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Note, once again, that this is all about a spelling and pronunciation problem brought on by overly zealous but totally unearned faith in the power of written language. The plural of /rɛɡ/ is /rɛɡz/; this has been the case since there was a word /rɛɡ/ to have a plural of, no matter how it was or wasn't spelled. Or punctuated. This is all about technology, and is about as natural as double-clutching. –  John Lawler May 22 '13 at 18:01
    
Right, apologies for the noun part, I was misguided by the "makin's of a champion" –  mplungjan May 22 '13 at 19:54

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