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Sentences constructed with a word written in the singular and parenthetically in the plural are straightforward when that word does not end in -y, e.g.:

List all applicable employee(s).

How does one handle words ending in -y? Is this correct:

I will attend the party(ies).

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I wouldn't get too hung up allowing for the possibility of only one - if you need to allow for more than one anyway, just use the plural. Otherwise it'll do your head in when you consider the grammaticality of your first "instruction" if it were to only be in the singular. "List all applicable employee" is simply nonsense, and I don't see how adding (s) gets you out of that. –  FumbleFingers Dec 7 '11 at 0:46
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up vote 7 down vote accepted

An alternative to the use of parentheses to provide both singular and plural forms is to separate them with a slash:

party/parties

This would be preferred in this and other similarly awkward formations such as wife/wives, and in special cases such as mouse/mice.

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