Browse Definitions :

The plural of “OS”

Writing for Business

Which is correct?
Running only Web apps is expected to make Chrome more secure than other ______.
a. OS’s
b. OSes
c. OSs

Answer: c.

I have to say, I prefer OSes myself, probably because I prefer spellings that reflect pronunciation when there’s any question. However the usual form for pluralizing an initialism or acronym is simply to add an s, even if the word already ends in an s. See a debate about this issue here.

This post has been edited — and the answer changed — in response to an extremely irate email I received yesterday. Oh my! People feel very strongly about spelling issues. We’re heading into the festive season here and so I would prefer not to be tarred and feathered. Nevertheless, I would have stuck to my guns if I’d felt justified.

To my dismay, I found that according to Microsoft’s style guide and some other technical sources, OSs is the standard plural of OS. I don’t like it, but it is not up to me.

Follow us on Twitter @tao_of_grammar

Dig Deeper on Writing for Business

SearchCompliance

  • information governance

    Information governance is a holistic approach to managing corporate information by implementing processes, roles, controls and ...

  • enterprise document management (EDM)

    Enterprise document management (EDM) is a strategy for overseeing an organization's paper and electronic documents so they can be...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • spam trap

    A spam trap is an email address that is used to identify and monitor spam email.

  • honeypot (computing)

    A honeypot is a network-attached system set up as a decoy to lure cyber attackers and detect, deflect and study hacking attempts ...

  • cracker

    A cracker is someone who breaks into someone else's computer system, often on a network; bypasses passwords or licenses in ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

SearchStorage

  • storage virtualization

    Storage virtualization is the pooling of physical storage from multiple storage devices into what appears to be a single storage ...

  • erasure coding

    Erasure coding (EC) is a method of data protection in which data is broken into fragments, expanded and encoded with redundant ...

  • continuous data protection

    Continuous data protection (CDP), also known as continuous backup, is a backup and recovery storage system in which all the data ...

Close