I see it all the time… from newbies as well as master copywriters…
…the improper use of plurals with numbers — especially when writing years.
For instance, I often see “the 1980’s” when it should be “the 1980s.”
Here’s an easy way to figure out what’s proper: Would you use a possessive if you spelled it out?
“For crap sake… I just wish we could just go back to the nineteen-eighties.”
Nope… no possessive needed here, although we could do with a bit more refinement.
If you’re going to eliminate the first two numbers in a year, use an apostrophe to indicate the missing numbers.
For instance, you’d write, “the ’80s,” not “the 80s.”
I don’t know if it’s still true, but it used to be that journalists on the East coast adhered to the Chicago Manual of Style while the westerners preferred the AP.
I do know that the AP Stylebook is available online and updates regularly.
© 2016 Chris Marlow, All Rights Reserved
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