May 13, 2009

The plural of typo is typos

I promise this won't turn into a grammar blog, but I'm going to sneak this one in.

The plural of typo is typos. It is not typo's. Repeat: TYPOS. This is a fairly straightforward example of adding an -s to the end of a singular noun to make it into a plural noun. Like radios. Zoos. Halos.

Anyway, I don't really care that much when people make plurals with -'s. Most of the time, honestly, I think it's a mistake, and if you showed them the word and said "What's the plural of this? How is it spelled?" they would know. But with typo, this mistake is just embarrassing. Because it's a typo on the word "typo." And you see it in the funniest places.

"Our agency will then hire a professional editor to check your work for mistakes and typo's."
"I hate self-published books because they're always full of typo's, and they're badly formatted, too."
"Please be sure that you have checked for typo's before you submit your work to us, or it may be rejected."

See how that just totally destroys your credibility? Yeah.


Ashwin said...

I've never seen the plural of typo written with an apostrophe. But I can imagine the irony making a typo in the word typo itself. Actually, I'm wrong, it's not a typo but a grammatical error. Oh well.

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

I'm so with you on this one. It's pandemic! My kids do it too. Everywhere people are making plurals by adding 's. What's going on!

The other day I read a sign that said, 'Bag's for sale.'

They don't teach punctuation in schools anymore.

Moray said...

I did wonder if it might take an apostrophe to indicate it is a contraction of typographical error - but in that case, the singular would take an apostrophe too. So you're right: one typo, two typos, no apostrophe.

Maybe teachers could use a line like that to help kids remember how to make plurals.