Ask a lexicographer | Metaglossia: The Translation World |

Every now and again, we like to share a few of the very interesting questions sent to us by fans of Oxford Dictionaries. Read on to see how our experts tackle texting, the Bible, and one very difficult name.
Standard messaging rates apply

Answer: For nouns ending in ‘s’ you would add ‘es’ to make them plural. Initialisms, such as your example SMS, pretty much follow the pattern of only adding an ‘s’. New Hart’s Rules states:

Note, however, that the rule says most. While SMSs is a correct plural form, you do see examples of SMSes as a variant (in fact, the Oxford English Corpus notes 148 instances of ‘es’). It might be that this abbreviation is still fairly new and its plural formation hasn’t yet become firmly established in people’s minds. Oxford Dictionaries would therefore allow for both spellings.
A grounded definition

Answer: Related areas of speech which have the same etymology are often grouped within the same entry in Oxford Dictionaries Online and Oxford Dictionaries Pro, which is why you find the verb form of ‘ground’ further down the entry for ‘ground1 (the solid surface of the earth)’.
The meaning to which you’re referring is verb 3, ‘(usually be grounded in) give (something abstract) a firm theoretical or practical basis’. Here are some example sentences from Oxford Dictionaries Pro:
The brilliant synthesis was grounded in his own practical experience.
The music is soulful while being grounded in the aesthetic and working practices of jazz.
Like most approaches grounded in irrationality, this one hasn’t worked either.