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What is the proper way to write the plural of a single letter? (another apostrophe question)

In the rosary, a Catholic sacramental composed of prayer beads, there is a short prayer concluding each decade called "Glory Be" ("Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit...").

Would the plural be Glory Bes or Glory Be's?

Likewise, do you say 10 Hail Marys?

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marked as duplicate by Andrew Leach, Carlo_R., tchrist, MετάEd, Robusto Dec 14 '12 at 1:37

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There really isn't a simple rule for apostrophe plural's. As soon as a phrase becomes frozen into a single word, somebody wants to treat it as an indeclinable item like D or or , and uses an apostrophe plural on it. Usage, as we say, varies. –  John Lawler Dec 13 '12 at 16:28
@Andrew Leach: Pardon? –  Edwin Ashworth Dec 13 '12 at 17:40
To the two people who voted to close this as "Not Constructive", I respectfully suggest that you re-read the definition of that reason, and then kindly explain in which universe this question could even remotely be considered to fit under that definition. Really. –  Marthaª Dec 13 '12 at 21:49
I bet somebody calls that an adverb. –  Edwin Ashworth Dec 13 '12 at 23:41
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1 Answer 1

At http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/plurals.htm under 'Plurals and Apostrophes' is given the claimed rule 'to form the plural of a word-as-a-word, put the word cited in italics and add 's in non-italics'. This would lead to 10 Glory Be's and 7 Hail Mary's. Assuming that the use of excerpt-as-a-title is considered a close enough modelling of the use of word-as-a-word.

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