No Plural "S" for WASP?
|The acronym WASP stands for Women Airforce
Service Pilots. It is necessary to grammatically add an extra "s" (in lower
case and not capitalized like the rest of the acronym) to indicate a plural
of any acronym (a word formed from the initial letters of a combination
to form a name). This additional small "s" correctly pluralizes the acronym
itself and not the full sequence of words implied within the acronym (as
alleged by some misinformed critics with a mistaken understanding of English).
This grammatical fact is illustrated by samples of official documentation provided below (from AAF regulation No. 40-9 covering the wearing of the WASP uniform). The official use confirms that a proper final "s" is added in lower case to the acronym in order to make it plural, which reflects the official acceptance of formal English grammar by the government during World War II.
An apostrophe is added before the pluralizing
"s" whenever abbreviations are specifically marked by periods. For
example, note the difference between the abbreviation for military police:
MPs (no periods and thus no apostrophe) and M.P.'s (periods inserted and
thus apostrophe required). Both are equally acceptable variants in World
War II parlance.
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