OSs vs OSes

Hi everybody!

I’m reading a technical literature now, and there are a lot of OSs (operating systemS) in this book and I was sure it is correct. I mean not OSes but OSs.

But in process of reading I find ASes (autonomous systemS) in this book. What is it? Mistake?

Can you explain why OSs but not OSes (or other way).

I think OSes would be better.

I don’t think so, cause I’ve never seen OSes. If you write OSes, does it mean that is operating systemES? But if you sure give me an explanation please.

No, never systemes. OS is OS itself although it does mean Operating System. I suggest you take a google.

I would prefer OSs. Sometimes people might use OS’s as the plural, but I think it would be relatively rare to see OSes.

ASs, or AS’s, but never ASes.

Google says,

OSes 2,880,000
OS’s 134,000,000 (Jamie’s offer :slight_smile: )
But it seems to me OSs would go to another abbreviation: Open System Source.

I am not sure though.

Wouldn’t that be OSS?

21,000 English pages for “mac OS’s”.
9,080 English pages for “mac OSs”.


42,600 English pages for “windows OS’s”.
98,500 English pages for “windows OSs”.


27,800 English pages for “linux OS’s”
150,000 English pages for “linux OSs”.


It seems to me that someone who would write “OSes” would be someone who always says “OS” rather than “operating system” when speaking. The pronunciation of the plural form of “OS” would sound like “OSes”. Thus a person who never actually says “operating systems” might tend to write the plural of “OS” the same way he/she pronounces it.

I fully agree with you.

As we are talking about technical literature I use Cisco press, Microsoft Manual of Style, and Microsoft Computer Dictionary (fifth edition) to know what does OS mean.

Microsoft Dictionary says: “OS n. See operating system.” And then in Microsoft Manual of Style (version 3.0) we can read “To form the plural of an acronym, use a lowercase “s” without an apostrophe.” Example: several IFSs.

So, I’m not fully confident about OSes or OSs, but I am fully confident that OSs is acronym of operating systems, but not an open source [color=red]systems, cause open source software (not system, if you mean UNIX) is OSS but not OSs.

I’ve read such an answer on the Internet, so it’s colourable.

As regards writing the plural of ‘AS’ with an -es ending, perhaps the person simply didn’t want to risk it being confused with the word ‘ass’. :lol:

It’s a weighty argument. :lol:

You’re not distinguishing plural from possessive.

You’re not distinguishing plural from possessive.

I know, but why are you doing so?

Cause we are talking about plural form of acronym but not about possesive case.
I didn’t understand the meaning of your “research”. Did you type in search bar “mac OS’s” and “mac OSs” and compared the results?

I was checking out Jamie’s intuition here “I would prefer OSs. Sometimes people might use OS’s as the plural, but I think it would be relatively rare to see OSes.·”

I see.