Should sidebar menu navigation links be pluralized if the item is an acronym?

e.g. for a page where the user can manage a list of Local Area Networks / Wide Area Networks:


I feel that the lowercase 's' looks unsightly as a link. Are there conventions for this sort of microcopy?

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can pluralize the acronyms. It is ubiquitous, e.g.

  • VIPs Very Important Persons
  • ATMs Automated Teller Machines
  • CPUs Central Processing Units

The plural WANs is also used in the Wikipedia article on WAN.

Another interesting question is: Should we use an apostrophe? In your case, this could be LANs/WANs or LAN's/WAN's. While there seems to be no official rules to this, the common way of writing seems to be without apostrophes.

  • 1
    Indeed, apostrophes are generally considered a mistake here (though a few style guides license them). Sep 14, 2021 at 10:58
  • 1
    I agree they can be pluralized, but would also suggest that they should be pluralized if the page can deal with more than one. In other words, if the page only supported settings for a single LAN/WAN, then the acronym should stay singular, however if there is support for managing multiple LANs/WANs (like in OPs situation), then the acronyms should be pluralized. Doing so hints to the user that the page manages a list structure. Sep 20, 2021 at 13:51
  • @maxathousand Would think so, too +1 Sep 21, 2021 at 19:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.