It’s time for our second Quiz Bowl! This month’s quiz, which subscribers can find at http://www.amamanualofstyle.com/, examines the use of plurals. Test your knowledge by correcting the error in the following sample question based on your understanding of chapter 9 of the AMA Manual of Style.
Sera from 100 infants in the study were collected at birth.
Okay, time’s up. Did you identify the error? Here’s the answer (use your mouse to highlight the text box):
Serum samples from 100 infants in the study were collected at birth.
Beware of “pluralizing” nouns that cannot stand on their own as plurals (eg, use serum samples not sera and urine tests not urines) (§9.7, When Not to Use Plurals, p 369 in print).
If you want to learn more about how to edit plural words, subscribe to the AMA Manual of Style online and take the full quiz. Stay tuned next month for another edition of Quiz Bowl.—Laura King, MA, ELS