Hello all,
I think the subject line says it all. I can't find an answer to this anywhere. My instinct says no apostrophe, because nothing has been removed. On the other hand, I can see that you would say the '90s. But I would love to hear some thoughts.
The 1990s

The '90s

NOT the 1990's and certainly not the '90's

The ' in '90s stands for the 19, which as been left out.

Go with your instincts, Elizabeth!
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I agree that the apostrophe is not needed (except where it replaces characters in the contracted form), as it's clearly a plural and not a possessive usage. HOWEVER, if people want to see an apostrophe, either because of confusion with the correctly contracted form or to visually separate the alpha and numeric components, they will use it. And if they use it, it begins to become legitimized as standard usage.




About 50 years ago you would have been right.

Nowadays the apostrophe is not used anymore in this sort of construction.


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