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March 16, 2014


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Jemmy Hope

Remember after the Hillsborough disaster? The plural of stadium was in regular use, and the media (mediums?) decided that we simple folks would be confused if they used 'stadia'. So stadiums is now firmly established as the plural of stadium.
I await the appearance of the plural form 'criterions'.

Virtual Linguist

Thanks, Jemmy, I think I have already heard 'criterias', and have definitely heard 'phenomenas'.


If I correctly understand, though, it makes a difference whether the English word "referendum" has its origins in the gerundive (in which case it admits the Latin plural "referenda") or in the gerund (in which case it has no Latin plural).

From what I see, "referendum" entered English in the mid 1800s via German (with reference to the Swiss political system) and in German it seems to derive from the construction "ad referendum". This would mean that "referendum" should be seen as a gerund, not a gerundive, and hence without an admissible Latin plural.

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