My work has Validation Engineers I, Validation Engineers II, Compliance Consultant I, Compliance Consultant II, etc.

When discussing more than one person, do you write Validation Engineers II, Validation Engineer IIs, or Validation Engineer II's?

  • @LaurenIpsum in the IT/Engineering world, the Roman numeral depicts the level of which you are at that job title. Usually the entry level lower end starts at "I" and work their way up. – ggiaquin16 Jun 2 '17 at 17:36
  • Google plural of a phrase for more info, including other stack exchange posts. In particular, you may check English Language & Usage. Point is, you are forming the plural of a noun phrase that happens to end in a numeral. – JDługosz Jun 3 '17 at 10:08

You don't ever use apostrophes to form plurals, so that's right out.

If the Roman numeral is part of the name, you would add an S: A total of 15 Saturn Vs were built, but only 13 were flown.

If you have two people sharing a title, you pluralize the title (the Doctors Smith, the Ensigns Kim). But if the Roman numeral is fused to the title giving information about the level, then the entire title is Validation Engineer II (singular) and you pluralize the entire unit as Validation Engineer IIs.

In law school you talk about 1Ls and 3Ls (for first-year and third-year students). If engineering is the same way, you could call them VE IIs to sound less awkward.

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    "You don't ever use apostrophes to form plurals, so that's right out." I assume you're talking about numbers here, but as a statement that's not quite true. More here: english.stackexchange.com/a/921/161 – Goodbye Stack Exchange Jun 2 '17 at 17:42
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    @NeilFein Occasionally one must override the giants. Apostrophes indicate a character has been removed. There are no characters being removed when making a plural. A.T.M.'s is not a plural. It's a possessive. If AP tried to edit me, I would edit that back. AP also declares that even though you say James's, with both S sounds, you should write James' for a possessive, and that looks just as preposterous to me. – Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum Jun 2 '17 at 21:22
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    While I agree with your sense of aesthetics, I prefer to rewrite to avoid these kinds of edge cases. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Jun 2 '17 at 21:36
  • «don't ever use apostrophes to form plurals, so that's right out.» that's not what I was taught in grade school. – JDługosz Jun 3 '17 at 10:09

No, you don't. Just like you don't pluralise Arabic numerals.

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    your answer has left me at 6s and 7s. Of course, I learned that phrase in the 1970s, so you may not recognize it. Oh look, a whole bunch of F-16s just flew over my house. – Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum Jun 2 '17 at 17:33
  • @LaurenIpsum. Indeed, I had never heard of 'at 6s and 7s' (really nice idiom, by the way), but I looked it up and it seems to me that your examples constitute numerals that are used as nouns (the 6s = the group of people that go in 6th; F-16 = a type of plane; 1970s = the decade of 1970). As nouns, they can be pluralised, but as numerals they cannot. – SC for reinstatement of Monica Jun 2 '17 at 21:25
  • I disagree. The 16 in F-16 indicates a sequence — this is the 16th iteration of something. It's a number. Same with years: dates are numbers, not nouns. – Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum Jun 2 '17 at 22:15
  • @SaraCosta Numerals are not a part of speech. Do you perhaps mean that they cannot be pluralized as adjectives? A number that expresses quantity in a sentence is an adjective. It is true that numbers used as adjectives cannot be pluralized, but only because adjectives cannot be pluralized anyway, nothing to do with their being numerals. – user16226 Jun 2 '17 at 22:21
  • @LaurenIpsum, of course dates are nouns. Spot was a good dog. 1983 was a good year. One is the loneliest number. Just because we have a special notation for numbers does not change what part of speech they are when used in a sentence. – user16226 Jun 2 '17 at 22:24

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