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What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym?

What's the plural form of "SMS" (if X), like:

I'm concerned, I sent him over a million X but got no response.

I usually use text message to get rid of that situation.

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marked as duplicate by Mr. Shiny and New 安宇, KitFox, Matt Эллен, kiamlaluno, Mitch Dec 12 '11 at 21:33

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The common way to pluralize acronyms is to add a lowercase S, so it would be SMSs. But SMS (short message service) is not usually used like that. SMS is the service you use to send text messages. SMS can also be used to talk about a feature-set ("It's got unlimited SMS."), or a technology ("This tablet supports SMS."). Both text (sometimes abbreviated txt) and text message are used.

I'm concerned. I sent him over a million texts, but got no response.

or

I'm concerned. I sent him over a million text messages, but got no response.

Google Ngram seems to support this: enter image description here

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Yeah, I think at least in writing, you just have to say "text messages" or "texts". –  alcas Dec 12 '11 at 3:40
    
Why "sent an SMS"? –  Gigili Dec 12 '11 at 8:11
    
That's just proper English since SMS is pronounced ess em ess. "Sent a SMS", aside from sounding horrible, returns no results. This is searching published books, not the web, so proper English is required. –  ThinkingStiff Dec 12 '11 at 8:14
    
Although you're correct that SMS refers to the service, not the message, its usage stems from shorthand for "SMS message", in the same way "text message" is shortened to "text" –  DisgruntledGoat Dec 12 '11 at 10:56
    
careful: that ngram for "sent a text" vs "sent a text message" includes all of the results of the latter in the former. –  Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Dec 12 '11 at 13:52
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"SMS" refers to the technology or means of sending the messages, not the messages themselves. A plural of SMS would mean more than one technology or means of sending messages. You want "SMS messages" or simply "texts".

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-1 Wrong. Try googling "an SMS". The majority of hits are "an SMS x" (x = "system", "message" etc) but there are plenty of "an SMS" tout court. It really isn't helpful to answer the question "how do I form the plural of X" by denying that "X" exists. –  Colin Fine Dec 12 '11 at 14:26
    
I'm not denying that it exists. I'm saying it simply doesn't have the usage that the OP is requesting. There simply doesn't exist a plural of "SMS" that refers to the messages themselves. You could make one, and people would probably be able to figure out what you meant, but that's not the criterion. –  David Schwartz Dec 12 '11 at 19:32
    
And I'm saying that you're wrong. If I google "SMSs", two of the responses I get on the first page ("Howto Send/Read SMSs using a GSM modem, AT+ commands and..." and "Remove limit on daily SMSs: NGO to govt") are clearly counterexamples. –  Colin Fine Dec 13 '11 at 12:39
    
As I said, you could make one and people would probably be able to figure out what you mean. –  David Schwartz Dec 13 '11 at 18:10
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If you're talking, it depends on how you pronounce the abbreviation. If, as I imagine, it's /ɛsɛmɛs/ -- just the names of the the letters strung together -- the plural will be pronounced /ɛsɛmɛsəz/. Everything hinges on the last sound. But if you speak English, you already know this.

If you're writing, however, you're on your own on how to spell it. English spelling is not ready for things like this, as everybody who texts knows already. And it probably never will be.

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