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On 04 Oct 2006, Stephen Calder wrote Then whichever one you're using, ditch it and invest in a better one. (It's certainly in Collins.)

agenda n.pl., also used as sing. Less commonly in sing. agendum. I guess I've led a sheltered life because agendum has never crossed my path until this thread.

Thank you. So much for "obvious".

Stephen
Lennox Head, Australia
(snip)

I'm happy to accept "an agenda" (singular) as a term ... feel (to me, entirely subjectively) as unnatural as "this data".

Let's suppose you're the Secretary on two committees and you have to type up the agenda for each of the committees' next meetings. How would explain that you need to type not only one agenda, but two agendas before the weekend?

But agenda are not what is typed. They are the items on the list.
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(snip) Let's suppose you're the Secretary on two committees and ... not only one agenda, but two agendas before the weekend?

But agenda are not what is typed. They are the items on the list.

Read what Daniel James wrote.
No, wait, I'll c&p it so you have no excuse for not finding it:
I'm happy to accept "an agenda" (singular) as a term meaning a list of "agenda" (plural).

I am asking him* about *his use of the word.
And, to be honest, I don't care the slightest about what you think. You've proven several times already that you only consider your own strange version of English to be right, so why should I want to read some more weird opinions from you?

johnF
I only checked the Concise Oxford because if it's not in there, the "obvious" singular is not obvious.

So what derivation did the Concise Oxford give? BW

Excellent question.
I quote:
(Latin, neut. pl. of gerundive of /agere/ 'do')
There is a usage note suggesting it is still sometimes used as a plural, meaning 'items to be considered,' but /agendum/ is not given.

Stephen
Lennox Head, Australia
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

'Agenda' cannot be 'incorrect'. You might have the wrong items listed.
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(snip)

I'm happy to accept "an agenda" (singular) as a term ... feel (to me, entirely subjectively) as unnatural as "this data".

Let's suppose you're the Secretary on two committees and you have to type up the agenda for each of the ... needed it? Or would you do linguistic contortions to avoid it? If so, isn't that a restriction on your language?

You obviously don't know how to use the word 'agenda'.
A few catchall comments:
What the singular or the plural form of a given word may be, and especially whether it is "faithful" to its language of origin, is immaterial so long as the great majority of reasonably literate users of the tongue can readily distinguish the two forms (assuming the thing being named can reasonably have a singular and a plural). It is only when we would confuse one form with the other that there are problems.

Nor is the disappearance of one form or the other of great consequence when there is little or no need for that form, which I feel includes the case of "agendum".
(Sidebar: I still maintain that "agendum" is now past obsolescent and into obsolete: while a simple Google does turn up 137,000 instances of "agendum", it turns up 288,000,000 instances of "agenda", a ratio well over 2000:1.)The word "agenda" is now conceived as singular in that it is taken as roughly synonomous with "list" (roughly but not exactly, an agenda being I say this from my own impressions, not a dictionary search not just a list of items, but a list of things to be done or accomplished, especially matters for consideration at a meeting, as opposed to, say, a laundry list). A particular entry on such a list is a point or topic or matter, as context suggests.

I don't say that we didn't lose perhaps a little specificity by that evolution, but to me it is not enough for deep concern. Deep concern is called for when an evolution would leave us without a convenient close synonym for the term that is disappearing or mutating (as with "transpire" or "connive"), or when a new or mutating term is simply a needless near-precise synonym for some extant term (as with "transpire" and "happen").
"Media" as a singular is thus bad business in two ways: first, it severly muddies the distinction between singular and plural forms, for there remains a host of legitimate uses for plural a "media". Second (and, I daresay, graver), singular "media" is a conceptual meat grinder, making verbal hamburger out of things that deserve to be kept reasonably well separated in our thoughts: there are numerous substantial and important differences of several sorts, inherent in the nature of each medium, between the treatment of news by newspapers, radio, television, and now the internet; to lump them up as one monolithic thing needlessly fuzzes comprehension.
We do not typically refer to a newspaper as "a medium" because we have the handy word "newspaper", which fully comprises the idea of a medium for delivering news. With the others, we need to rely on the context to suggest that we are referring to them in their capacity as deliverers of news (or whatever it is that Fox delivers), but that is rarely if ever a difficulty. (Notice that we no longer feel a need to say "the news media" bare "media" suffices just because the context is invariably sufficiently defining.) By keeping "media" plural, we have a constant reminder that several rather different things that work rather differently are being rolled up in one word.

The same sort of argument applies to data: it is well worth being constantly reminded when we use the word that it signifies a collection of individual facts, which may well be of substantially varying significance or reliability, rather than some amorphous single thing. It is also quite useful at times to be able to refer to a particular datum. Scientists, who perhaps deal with data more than anyone, usually keep the distinction quite clear: you will rarely if ever see "data is" in an article or paper by a scientist.
(Oh, and "octopi" was never a plural form of octopus except to the "ain't" school of speech: the recommended form has at least in modern times, I have not OED'ed it (new coinage there?) always been "octopuses", with "octopodes" as a pedantic and now-deprecated but technically passable form.)
So what derivation did the Concise Oxford give?

Excellent question. I quote: (Latin, neut. pl. of gerundive of /agere/ 'do') There is a usage note suggesting it is still sometimes used as a plural, meaning 'items to be considered,' but /agendum/ is not given.

So the Concise Oxford is a bit too concise. The gerundive is alluded to but not specified.
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary has this for the etymology: "Latin, neuter plural of agendum , gerundive of agere "

BW
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Hilarious. What's the singular?

Hilarious? Look, ***, in the dictionary, under 'agendum'.

Then YOU look in the dictionary, under "agenda."
Or is the dictionary correct only when it agrees with you?

And why do I ask questions to which I know the answer?

Bob Lieblich
And why do I bother?
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