How to Make Product Names Plural

Some simple rules will keep you from being confounded when you’re trying to figure out how to make proper nouns such as “iPhone 6,” “iPhone 6S,” and “Blackberry” plural.

Mignon Fogarty
Episode #515

What Is the Plural of iPhone 6S?

However, I wasn’t able to find many news articles that made the iPhone 6 plural in this way, and I suspect it’s because Apple tends to rotate through product names that have a number followed by an S, so we have the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6S. The S in the product names is usually capitalized, so it doesn’t look exactly like the plural iPhone 6s with a lowercase S; but it could still be very confusing to readers, and I think that’s why writers seem to be avoiding it. You could say they’re all simply adhering to AP style, but I easily found many news stories that broke the rule when writing about the iPhone 6S and referred to iPhone 6Ses.

So that was your meaty middle about how to make Apple product names plural. If you’re a longtime listener, you already knew the kerfuffle was about trademarks, but it’s still interesting to think about the logic behind how we make product names that end in numbers plural and especially how you might want to use a different spelling if the logical way, like iPhone 6s, might be confusing to readers. The most important rule is always to avoid confusing readers.

The article was originally published in June 27, 2013 and updated May 5, 2016.


About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show.

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