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Well I'll accept brickbats if I deserve them but I ... what I was talking about if I said "this datum..."

"Data" is clearly a word in transition, and will some day be as singular as "agenda" has become; but that day is not today or tomorrow or even next week.

Not in my vocabulary, in which 'agenda' is plural.
For any usage in transition, we have two choices: if we are enamored of it, for whatever reasons, we can valiantly soldier on for it by invariably using it; if, however, we carry no special brief, we can and should use the original form.

There is no 'transition', there is only ignorant usage.
"Data" is clearly a word in transition, and will ... day is not today or tomorrow or even next week.

Not in my vocabulary, in which 'agenda' is plural.

Hilarious. What's the singular?
For any usage in transition, we have two choices: if ... special brief, we can and should use the original form.

There is no 'transition', there is only ignorant usage.

Thou whoreson zed, thou unnecessary letter.

Stephen
Lennox Head, Australia
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Not in my vocabulary, in which 'agenda' is plural.

Hilarious. What's the singular?

Agendum, obviously.
Not in my vocabulary, in which 'agenda' is plural.

Your agenda is incorrect. Or would you write, "Your adendum is incorrect."? I cannot write that your
agenda are incorrect, because I do not know anything about your other agenda items.
GFH
"Data" is clearly a word in transition, and will some day be as singular as "agenda" has become; but that day is not today or tomorrow or even next week.

Would it surprise you to know that I also talk about "these agenda" and "the third agendum on the list" ...?
I'm happy to accept "an agenda" (singular) as a term meaning a list of "agenda" (plural). For some reason that doesn't feel (to me, entirely subjectively) as unnatural as "this data".
Take my word for it, they will not in consequence lynch you from a lamp-post.

I think I'm rather relying on that!
Cheers,
Daniel.
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Hilarious. What's the singular?

Agendum, obviously.

How is that obvious? It's not in my dictionary.

Stephen
Lennox Head, Australia
Agendum, obviously.

How is that obvious? It's not in my dictionary.

Then whichever one you're using, ditch it and invest in a better one.
(It's certainly in Collins.)

Cheers, Harvey
Canadian and British English, indiscriminately mixed For e-mail, change harvey.news to harvey.van
(snip)

OK I take your point about old fogeys predicting grunt talk, but I can't help it if I feel uncomfortable about text-speak! What do you suggest I do?

Seriously: Grin (or, if you can't grin, wince imperceptibly) and bear it.
Like you, I carry around in my 'tween-ears computer lots of usages that are now out of fashion, and I hear many a fashionable usage that makes me want to shout out a "correction." So I not only understand your point but sympathize with it. I do my infinitesimal part to try to maintain what I consider appropriate usages, and if enough people do the same thing we may be able to slow ever so slightly the drift we don't like. But in the long run the language goes where it goes, and user by user we decide how long we care to conduct our little retrograde actions.
Text-speak is an extreme case of evolving language, primarily because it exists in a new medium that prizes "virtues" that are undesirable in more traditional contexts. I prefer to think of it as a new and evolving jargon, from which, as from any other jargon, usages leak into the standard language. Again, there's no stopping it. The best we can hope for is that it remains a jargon and that the leakage is slow.
Some processes are not only irresistible but not particularly worth resisting. For example, the conversion to English plurals for naturalized Latin and Greek words is not only inevitable but probably, on balance, a Good Thing. Consider this little list, with its varying degrees of acceptability: agendas, dictums, octopuses, octopi, criterions, criterias, data (singular), media (singular). Each is worthy of a little lecture, but just consider your own reactions to each, then think about which are likely to be in common use 25 or 50 years from now.
I offer you two of the usage group cliches for what good they will do: "(1) If there were no language change, we'd all sound like Chaucer (or Beowulf or ." (2) The Borg are right you will be assimilated.
Finally, if you look at the reactions you have elicited, you may have noticed that there is little of substance to be said in response to someone who doesn't like a given usage. We can discuss what we think is or is not current usage, how some usage got to be the way it was, how something might be better expressed, and maybe even how to stop the drift of a particular usage. But pet peeves don't really elicit much beyond other pet peeves, and that's just me-too-ism.

Sheesh. Where did all that come from?

Bob Lieblich
Don't go away mad
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
(snip)
Stephen Calder wrote

How is that obvious? It's ("agendum") not in my dictionary.

Then whichever one you're using, ditch it and invest in a better one. (It's certainly in Collins.)

Which Collins would that be?
Not that I'm doubting you; quite the opposite, in fact!

I'm just wondering if you have the edition that also lists "agendas" and "agendums". (They're in, at least, the 2005 Desktop Collins.)

johnF
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