A letter home from daycare may be sensitive to the fact that some children have a single parent like this:

Dear Parent(s),

And if that same letter home wanted to be sensitive to the fact that I may have more than one child enrolled:

This letter is concerning your child(ren)...

But what if I have twin infants? (twinfants)

This letter is about your baby(ies)...

I believe the parentheses indicate that the letters within are optional, but do they also indicate that you should remove the y?

EDIT: The suggested duplicate has many suggestions, none of which is backed by a guideline or rule. Is there no rule governing this behavior?

marked as duplicate by ermanen, choster, RegDwigнt May 8 '15 at 10:18

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    If it's a mass mailing why pretend it isn't? You are writing to all the parents and talking about all their babies. – Hot Licks May 8 '15 at 4:15
  • I was using this as an example because it's easy to understand. The real situation that inspired my question was reading through some code that may or may not return more than one city and the comment was "return city/ies." I didn't think that was right, so I came for help! Edit: but that is a good suggestion for any potential daycare directors reading this! – Forklift May 8 '15 at 4:32
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    @Forklift: There isn't a rule. There are suggestions. For example, The Chicago Manual of Style suggests that " In general, avoid such shorthand unless it can be used simply and effectively".* – ermanen May 8 '15 at 5:22
  • I suppose that'll have to do. Thanks for the link. – Forklift May 8 '15 at 5:24