Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In baseball, an RBI is a Run(s) batted in. So it's already "plural".

So if I were to say, Paul Konerko had five RBIs. Is that correct, or should I say Paul Konerko had five RBI.

share|improve this question
    
Never 's, though, unless your RBI is possessive. :-) –  Monica Cellio May 26 '11 at 20:34

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Yes, and it's spelled without the periods, i.e. RBIs.

See Wikipedia's List of Major League Baseball Players with 1000 RBIs, for example.

Note, however, that when you say the whole words, you pluralize runs, as in runs batted in.

share|improve this answer
    
So it would be proper to say: One runs batted in? –  Jack Marchetti Apr 10 '11 at 16:47
3  
@Jack Marchetti: No. You would say "one run batted in" or "two runs batted in" etc. –  Robusto Apr 10 '11 at 16:50
1  
Related answer to "Words that are pluralized in the middle" –  Uticensis Apr 10 '11 at 17:58
    
You could also say he had one RBI, or three RBIs. I've heard it pronounced the 'long way' R B I, or short 'n sweet: ribi/ribis –  Darwy Jun 4 '11 at 11:02

RBI is an acronym, thus a noun: singular RBI, plural RBIs. If you want to say the words, say them, don't use the acronym. You would not use the plural for 'an RBI double' to say 'runs batted in double' meaning one run. Confusion emanates from ending the term with an adverb, an awkward construction. If the phrase had been coined 'batted in run', BIR, instead, with the noun at the end, there would not be this confusion. Also, decimals are not used in acronyms.

share|improve this answer
    
ERA is an acronym but you wouldn't say a pitcher has a 3.69 ERAs. –  Jack Marchetti Jun 3 '13 at 20:03
    
Consider the ERAs of all the players of the team. –  GEdgar Jun 3 '13 at 20:34
    
In the case of "Consider the ERAs of all the [pitchers] on the team," the plural follows from the fact that we are invited to compare earned run averages (average takes the plural), not earned runs average. As user7464 suggests, standard baseball parlance may use "run batted in" or "runs batted in," depending on the situation; but it always uses "earned run average [or averages]", and never "earned runs average [or averages]." –  Sven Yargs Jun 3 '13 at 20:47
    
If RBI were an acronym it would be pronounced as a word (perhaps rib-eye or rib-bee). Since it's actually pronounced as separate letters (are-be-eye) it's not an acronym. –  MετάEd Jun 3 '13 at 23:33
    
@MετάEd: RBI is sometimes pronounced as "ribby" (plural: "ribbies") though this is usually intended to be a bit more informal and whimsical. –  Nate Eldredge Jun 4 '13 at 4:50

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.