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How does the MLA use emeritus and emerita?

In its publications the MLA follows Merriam-Webster, allowing the inflected forms emeritus to refer to a man or woman, emerita to refer to a woman, and emeriti to refer to a plural group. When individuals state a preference for emeritus or emerita, however, we follow their preference.

Published 9 January 2019

What is the MLA’s approach to the singular they?

In its publications, the MLA generally does not use the plural pronoun they (or their, them, and themselves) to refer to singular nouns. While the singular they is not uncommon in spoken English and in some informal contexts, in formal writing it is best to reword for agreement in number. In the following example their and they are mismatched with each student:

Each student is expected to choose the topic of their research paper before they take the midterm.

In our editorial practice,

Published 3 October 2018

How do you make a plural out of the word so?

Someone might write, for example, “There are too many sos in this sentence,” in response to:

So many people were present, so he said so, so they were all so very pleased, but others felt that attendance was not so great, was, in a word, so-so.

But “sos” is hard to read. It looks at first like a mistake. Using italics might help a bit but not much: sos. Another option would be to add an apostrophe: so’s. But MLA style uses apostrophes only to form plurals of letters: p’s and q’s.
Note that dos and don’ts is fairly well established—that is,

Published 7 February 2018

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