0

When offering the possibility that there could be more than one of something, how should that be written? Eg. You will be responsible for the cost of your room(s). Or should it be "room/s"?

1

There are people who disagree with this but my interpretation is that brackets (or parentheses if you prefer) are for optional material, while a slash should be read as or (with a few exceptions in the form of established abbreviations). So the latter reads "room or s".

Here's a blog post on the subject which, without a link or more detailed attribution states:

The Chicago Manual of Style once answered a question similar to yours on its online blog. Here’s the reply:

“A term ending in ‘(s)’ is both plural and singular. If you must use such a device (and it can be a useful shorthand), you have to be prepared to adjust the surrounding context as necessary: for example, ‘the award(s) is (are) accounted for.’ A parenthetical plural verb must correspond to the parenthetical ending.”

This of course doesn't directly answer your question, but establishes the parenthetical plural as worthy of consideration, without mentioning the slashed plural.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.