Rare use for plurals
Apostrophes do NOT form plurals, with very limited exceptions. (Every rule in English has exceptions!)
‘If you wish to refer to more than one item to accomplish, you may have more than one “to do” on your list. It is acceptable to write it as “to dos” or “to do’s.” (The latter is more understandable.)
The same is true for making years and decades plural. Either method is acceptable.
Consistency throughout will help your reader understand your intention.
- Honey, you have more to dos (to do’s) on this list than I can do.
- There are four maybes (maybe’s) in this paragraph.
- At three, he knew all his ones (one’s), twos (two’s), threes (three’s) and fours (four’s) for multiplying.
- By the time he was five, he had figured out how to multiply the 20s (20’s), 30s (30’s), 40s (40’s) and 50s (50’s).
- Do you remember the chaos of the 1960s (1960’s)?
- Chaos followed the joy of the 1950s (1950’s).
- Some of us have memories of the 40s (40’s).
- I never could do the dances of the 30s (30’s).
Plural of a single letter
- There are three “a’s” in “banana.”
- (Otherwise, the reader would see “as.”)
- The Scrabble game has four “u’s.”
- (Not “us.”)
- One of my Scrabble “s’s” fell behind the desk.
- (“s” is not plural, so apostrophe plus “s” is appropriate)
- Her report card was full of “A’s,” no “B’s.”
Plural of acronyms or Capitalized abbreviations
Again, consistency counts.
- He knew his ABCs (ABC’s) by the time he was two.
- Eight people in his family had earned their GEDs (GED’s).
- She is the third of four M.D.s (M.D.’s) in the family.
- Four VIPs (VIP’s) sat on the stage at graduation.