TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: New Grist: Conditional Plural(s) From:mpriestley -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM Date:Wed, 19 Apr 1995 15:01:32 EDT
Loren Castro asks about the (s) in:
>"These plans shall be recorded in Software Installation Plan(s)
The standard at IBM is (or was last time I checked) to simply use the plural.
If it's important that the singular be included (to avoid giving the
impression that the noun has to be plural), then say something like "one or
more" (as John Renish does in an example). There's no reason to use (s)
to indicate a possible plural, when it A) usually doesn't matter and B) has
better alternatives when it does matter.
Hope this helps,
mpriestley -at- vnet -dot- ibm -dot- com
Disclaimer: speaking on my own behalf, not IBM's.