For example, if the first use of RDA occurs as follows:

"Recommended daily allowances (RDAs) are established by nutritionists after some kind of research...."

Should the parenthetical introduction be singular or plural?

Please note whether your answer is style guide-specific.

Note: This question was already asked here: Is the acronym pluralized in the first parenthetical use?, but because the example used by the OP included a plural word (Forces) inside the initialism (RFF) the crux of this question was not answered. (I created this one because I don't have enough reputation to comment on or edit that post yet.)

Also, the above question was listed as a duplicate of this one: What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym / initialism? ; however, that topic does not answer the question I'm asking.

  • 1
    Not awful, not great. I'd reword: Each Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is established by nutritionists after research...." Oh, yeah, what's some kind of research? Jan 18, 2022 at 19:45
  • Perhaps ".... is established through research by nutritionists."
    – DjinTonic
    Jan 18, 2022 at 19:47
  • I would put (RDA) after the first occurrence of recommended daily allowance that is not plural or possessive. (There's no rule that it needs to occur on the very first occurrence.) Jan 18, 2022 at 20:18
  • @YosefBaskin, I understand the option to reword, but I'm trying to figure out if there's a convention that addresses a plural first mention, in case it's unavoidable. The sentence is made up, "some kind of research" is just filler. Thanks for the quick reply. Jan 18, 2022 at 20:23
  • I'd counter that I cannot suggest painting myself into a corner and then call for theoretical help in how to get out. I'd take control of my wording. My approach is not style-guide specific. Jan 18, 2022 at 21:25

1 Answer 1


Yes, in the absence of specific guidance otherwise, the parenthetical introduction of an acronym/initialism can be plural to match the expanded version.

  • Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Jan 25, 2022 at 19:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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