On Thursday, October 7, 2004, at 08:30 , Jeffrey Henning wrote:

> On Thu, 7 Oct 2004 19:25:55 +0100, Ray Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Thankfully. I think we should explain that 'agendas' is not a double
>> plural in that 'agenda' is now a singular noun in 21st cent Eng. A pity
>> in
>> some ways because it means that instead of saying "the first agendum" we
>> now have to say more long winded "the first item on the agenda". But
>> there'
>> s no way 'agenda' is going go back to being a plural again.
> In fact, you can say "the first agendum".

Yes, I know I can. I have actually done so, on more than one occasion.

> American Heritage defines
> 'agendum' as an item on a list, not the list itself:
> "Something to be done, especially an item on a program or list."

Yes, I know this. It's similar to the explanation I almost invariably have
to give after using it  :)

In fact I've found that it works out much quicker to say "The first item
on the agenda" than to say the shorter "the first agendum"!

> On Thursday, October 7, 2004, at 08:51 , Mark J. Reed wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 07, 2004 at 03:30:40PM -0400, Jeffrey Henning wrote:
>> In fact, you can say "the first agendum".  American Heritage defines
>> 'agendum' as an item on a list, not the list itself:
> Right.  That's the origin of the word "agenda" - it was originally the
> plural of
> "agendum".   More than one list item = a list.

Correct: a list of agenda or, if you prefer, a set of agenda. This was
still sometimes the usage half a century ago. But...

> But "agendum" has
> disappeared from English usage and "agenda" has come to be construed as
> singular.

Yep - this is the normal usage now. I dare say that the older usage is not
100% dead, but for all practical purposes it is.

I have no problem with _English_ agenda (sing.) ~ agendas (plural). But
"agendae" is neither Latin (as plural of non-existent noun *agenda = 'set
of things which must be done'*) nor English - it's just pretentious &

* _agendae_ can occur in Latin of course:
- as feminine nominative plural: haec uaccae ad mercatum agendae sunt =
these cows must be driven to market.
- as feminine genitive singular:  nauis in litus agendae memor erat = he
was mindful of the ship being driven to the shore = he remembered driving
the ship onto the shore.
- as feminine dative singular: paci agendae studet = he keen on peace
being made = he was keen on making peace.

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Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight,
which is not so much a twilight of the gods
as of the reason."      [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]