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Opening Arguments

Dums da dums dums

Allow me to be a pedantic nitpicker here. According to a news release from Indiana University, "Despite school referenda failures on Tuesday, Indiana now a referenda state." Boy, that grates on my ears. From the personal blog of Lord Norton, professor at Hull University and member of the House of Lords:

We speak of referendums, not referenda, on the advice of the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary: “Referendum is logically preferable as a plural form meaning ballots on one issue (as a Latin gerund referendum has no plural).  The Latin plural gerundive referenda, meaning


Thu, 05/05/2011 - 10:31am

How many datums do you have on this?

john b. kalb
Thu, 05/05/2011 - 10:39am

Leo - A "referndum"? Is that a "re-greened-up lollypop"?
Terry Spaulding, you must remember, is a past lobbyist for the Indiana Department of Education - hardly a disinterested communicator - who is filling the same lobbyist function for IU's CEEP (Center for Evaluation and Education Policy).
So would you not expect him to look unfavorably on any voting by citizens? It's like the public unions vs. taxpayers!

Harl Delos
Thu, 05/05/2011 - 2:20pm

Sounds like Terry Spaulding is one of those bacteriums of human society.

God established criteriums for determining when a plural should end in A: when writing those words with an "s" as the plural, one develops stigmatums.

Perhaps we ought to spend a couple of decessiums studying the issue, and if it's determined that referendums is proper, then the results should be published in the erratums column.

(Personally, what grates on MY ears about