Q. In section 7.11, the second example says, “If italicized terms—names of newspapers, titles of books, and the like—are used in the plural, the s is normally set in roman. A title already in plural form, however, may be left unchanged.” The example given is “four New York Times.” If the CMOS considers the name of that newspaper to be plural, that suggests it would find this sentence acceptable: “The New York Times are the paper of record.”
Q. My question refers to the plural use of acronyms and initialisms. As I have always understood it, the acronym or initialism can be pluralized only if the last letter indicates the plural item. So MOU (memorandum/memoranda of understanding) cannot become MOUs, but ICT can become ICTs (information and communication technologies). I run into this problem a lot with the initialism RFP (request for proposals), which people like to pluralize as RFPs to indicate multiple requests. The word proposals is already plural, so it does not make sense to me to add an s to the end of the initialism. What is the correct way to make acronyms or initialisms plural?
Q. If one refers to the DeVos (pronounced DeVOSS) family members in the plural, would they be the DeVoses or the DeVosses? If the former, that would appear to be pronounced “DeVOSEes” rather than “DeVOSSES,” as would be correct.
Q. Should the word head in this sentence have an s on it to agree with the multiple kids, or does this create a situation where each kid ends up with multiple heads? “The children put their hats on their heads.”
Q. The editors at our institution disagree about whether the singular point or plural points should be used in the following phrase: “0.4 percentage point(s).” Can you be the decider, as our commander-in-chief would say, on this one?
Q. Is this a plural or a singular: John Smith et al. (1990) argues (or argue)? And should a comma be placed after the year?
Q. Is it correct to use parenthesis to indicate the possibility of a noun as singular or plural? Example: Child(ren).
Q. What is the proper treatment for “disease” in “Center for Pancreatic and Hepatobiliary Disease”?
Q. I am editing a textbook for English students in Brazil. One of the exercises presents a recipe for pumpkin pie. Students are told the pie filling contains 1 1/2 cup pumpkin, 1 1/2 cup sugar, and so on. I seem to remember that anything greater than 1 should be plural. Am I correct? In other words, should the recipe read 1 1/2 cups?
Q. Our organization has a position called “director’s advisor.” There are about sixteen such advisors. I am editing a human resources paper on this position, and I have to figure out what the plural should be. There is an argument for making it “director’s advisors,” on the grounds that the job title itself is immutable, so if the text refers to several of them, an s should simply be placed at the end of the title. However, if there is one farmer and he has a field, it is a “farmer’s field.” The fields of several farmers would be referred to as “farmers’ fields.” Any assistance you can give in resolving this issue would be much appreciated!