Is the agenda singular or plural

Gender and number of agenda

[F]For some time now I've been angry about the use of the word agenda. Always is from one agenda as a feminine singular form. But that's wrong, there agenda is originally a Latin gerund in the neuter plural. Am I correct with this assessment?

[A] Yes and no. It is undoubtedly correct that agenda in Latin a gerund form in the neuter plural to the verb agere (›Do, act‹) is. The singular gerundive, also known as a verbal adjective agendum denotes ›something to be done‹, in the plural then roughly ›the set of all things that are to be done‹. In addition to this very general meaning, the shape got agenda in the Christian context a more special meaning than a collection of instructions for the worship service. Called a metaphorical transference, so to speak agenda however, not only the collection of instructions, but also a book containing these instructions. So it can already be observed there that the word agenda can denote a set of things (the instructions) as well as a single object (the instruction book).

This is already reflected in the language of Middle Latin. So recorded it Middle Latin Dictionary the Bavarian and German Academy of Sciences (Munich 1967) on the one hand agendum as a ›act of worship‹ and gives the meaning ›measurement canon‹ for the plural. On the other hand, with several documents from the 11th century agenda (Genitive singular: agendae) specified as a feminine noun in the singular, i.a. meaning ›order of worship, missal book‹. In this respect, it is the singular use of the form agenda so by no means a recent development.

However, know older German dictionaries agenda at least not as a German word. In the Brothers Grimm's dictionary, for example, it appears in the explanation of the entry baptismal register on, Adelungs dictionary leads as a Germanized form Agende, on mittellat. agenda declining. In Dudens Orthographic Dictionary is also only listed in the first edition of 1880, the third and "increased" edition can be found next to it agenda, but with the note that it is a Latin plural. It was not until 1934 that Agenda was listed as a feminine noun without this reference.

The word agenda was therefore not very familiar in German for a long time and was perceived as a real foreign word for a long time, unlike, for example, in French or Italian, where it has expanded in meaning compared to Middle Latin and denotes any kind of notebook or diary. The fluency of the word agenda in German has changed noticeably recently. Whether “Agenda 2010”, “German G8 agenda” or the “territorial agenda of the European Union”, the agenda is encountered at every turn, especially in politics. This is certainly a current linguistic fad. Such fashions can be viewed critically, but the current use of agenda not, as a glance at the history of the word shows.

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