2

I am a 90s kid (or ‘90s kid or 90’s kid).

Which one is appropriate here in this sentence?

5

This is a tough one - & it leads to a fair bit of disagreement.

Strictly speaking, the first is the correct form:

I am a 90s kid

However, many people would say that the second can be used because you are omitting the 19 from 1990s, so it ought to be

I am a '90s kid

Yet others [the older ones anyway] will remember back from their grammar school days that you were taught to use constructions like "Learn your ABC's" or "Mind your P's and Q's" and so would opt for

I am a 90's kid

It comes down to style & clarity quite often.
imagine the news headline

MP's debate news

vs

MPs debate news

The first would imply the MP's debate was news in and of itself. The second that the debate was on the topic of news. The apostrophe in this case removes clarity, making the reader assume a possessive where none was intended.

On the other hand,

CD's for sale

wouldn't confuse anyone.
It may make some people itch, though not so many as

Cucumber's for sale

on a greengrocer's stall would ;)

For some further reading, try the NY Times' FAQs on Style, Grammar Monster: Apostrophes to Show the Plurals of Abbreviations or Awkward Plurals, EveryWordCounts: Plural acronyms: apostrophe or no apostrophe? or Washington State University: acronyms and apostrophes

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  • en.wiktionary.org/wiki/in_and_of_itself - by itself; with respect to its intrinsic or inherent nature without consideration of extraneous factors; per se, intrinsically, inherently – gone fishin' again. Jan 10 at 17:28
  • “ The first would imply the MP's debate was news in and of itself. The second that the debate was on the topic of news. The apostrophe in this case removes clarity, making the reader assume a possessive where none was intended.” I didn’t get it. Could you please clarify in an easier way? – Strider Jan 10 at 17:49
  • I'm honestly not sure how to recast it to be any more clear. The whole essence is that the apostrophe makes the information more ambiguous. – gone fishin' again. Jan 10 at 18:06
  • MP's debate news= The MP’s debate is/was published/telecasted on the news. MPs debate news= Few MPs are/were debating on (topic of) a news. Aren’t these the meanings? – Strider Jan 10 at 18:21
  • 1
    1. The debate the MPs had made news headlines. 2. The MPs talked about the news. – gone fishin' again. Jan 11 at 12:06

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