When The Times opts for CD's rather than CDs, it's considered house style. But if a shopkeeper mislays an apostrophe, the kind of people who worry about whether anal-retentive has a hyphen are quick to criticize.I'm one of those kind of people and I'm also quick to criticize the Grey Lady's "house style". CD's and DVD's are bad enough, but how about the typographic nightmare of G.I.'s and C.E.O.'s? Talk about punctuation proliferation! On the same Op-Ed page as the above article they get it wrong, writing C.E.O's. Inconsistencies left and right, who can keep these rules straight anyway?
I can. The apostrophe rule is simple. An apostrophe never marks a plural. The rule about CEO vs. C.E.O. is less clear. The NYT style guide probably has a list of where you don't use dots. I think it's better to never use dots at all.