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Is it correct to use "what's," "who's," and "why's," in a single sentence?

Example:

She was perplexed at the "what's", "who's" and "why's" of the situation, so much so that she lost her mental balance.

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  • Why the apostrophes? Whys and wherefores is a more common phrase. – Tim Feb 26 '18 at 9:28
  • @Tim But whos isn't. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 26 '18 at 9:39
  • @EdwinAshworth - please elucidate! – Tim Feb 26 '18 at 9:40
  • One general recommendation is that a word used as a word should be italicised and, if pluralised, have a non-italicised 's added. Thus << There are too many however's in the second paragraph. >> This has been covered on ELU before. With very common examples (<< The whys and wherefores, and the ifs and buts, are explained fully in the next chapter. >> ), the requirement is often dropped. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 26 '18 at 9:48
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That sentence reads fine as-is, though I would make one suggestion.

The apostrophe in the "what's" indicates the possessive rather than the plural. You would be better off removing the apostrophes; eg "whys" instead of "why's".

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