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What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym?

I was in Middlesbrough yesterday and spotted:

CJ’s Cafe

So far, so good, I thought. A selection of the delights within were listed:

Pizzas      Parmo’s      Breakfasts

The second, on the face of it, looks like a standard greengrocer’s apostrophe, surprising in a sign where everything else is correct.

But parmo is an abbreviation for parmesan.

Is it correct to use an apostrophe there to indicate missing letters? Or would one normally expect to see parmos?

When forming other words from parmesan one would write parmesanish or parmesany. Would one then write parmoish and parmoey or parmo’ish and parmo’y?

marked as duplicate by MetaEd, StoneyB, FumbleFingers, JSBձոգչ, Zairja Oct 31 '12 at 15:23

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  • 1
    Parmo is not an abbreviation of Parmesan but the name, derived from Parmesan, of a dish; so, Yes, one would "expect to see parmos" in the plural. If I had occasion to employ nonce-constructions with -ish or -y I would write them as parmo-ish and parmo-y to clarify the structure. – StoneyB Oct 31 '12 at 13:44
  • Hmmm... you're not saying you're surprised by a grammatical error on a restaurant sign, are you? :^) – J.R. Oct 31 '12 at 13:47

Parmo is not an abbreviation of parmesan. (“Parm.” would be.) Parmo is a coined word, more like a nickname or diminutive, having an "-o" suffix like you might say “Johnno” for “Jonathan”. As such you would not need the apostrophe.

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