[ANSTHRLD] Any problems with public commentary?

Tim McDaniel tmcd at panix.com
Wed Sep 30 11:17:36 PDT 2009

> agendae ... have

Mr. Pedant wishes to note that, in Latin, "agenda" was already a
plural, with "agendum" as the singular.
("From Latin _agendum_ future passive neuter participle of _ag{o-}_,
'to do'", says <http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/agendum>
So "agendum" = "to-do", "agenda" = "to-do list", in a very real and
legally binding sense.)

I admire the opening of the American Heritage's usage note,
<http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/agenda>, "It is
true that Cicero would have used _agendum_ to refer to a single item
of business before the Roman Senate, with _agenda_ as its plural."

In the process of naturalization into English, "agenda is now
generally taken to be a collective singular form", rather like "datum"
/ "data" (Wiktionary).  As AHD puts continues, "But in Modern English
a phrase such as _item on the agenda_ expresses the sense of
_agendum_, and _agenda_ is used as a singular noun to denote the set
or list of such items, as in _The agenda for the meeting has not yet
been set_.  If a plural of _agenda_ is required, the form should be
_agendas_: _The agendas of both meetings are exceptionally varied_."

Danyll de Linccolne
Tim McDaniel, tmcd at panix.com

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