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Referendums or Referenda

Mind that apostrophe.
Spet0789
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Referendums or Referenda

#453730

Postby Spet0789 » October 27th, 2021, 10:21 pm

Moderator Message:
Refers to this post. - Chris

Lootman wrote:
Spet0789 wrote:Given the British electorate’s track record at weighing complex questions with both short- and long- term implications and reducing them to black / white, I think this is perhaps better not put to the people.

Depends on your political outlook. I happen to think that the voters got all three of the recent referenda right.

And of course every 5 years the voters choose the next government, which is also a "complex question". In my experience they usually get that right as well.

Maybe my views are closer to the average voter than yours?


Your views probably are closer to the average than mine. It’s nothing to boast about. I’d rather be right than wrong in a crowd.

Referendum is a gerund by the way, not a noun. The plural is referendums not referenda. Perhaps we should put that to a vote by the public. They might get that wrong too!

ursaminortaur
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Re: Referendums or Referenda

#453750

Postby ursaminortaur » October 28th, 2021, 12:17 am

Spet0789 wrote:
Lootman wrote:
Spet0789 wrote:Given the British electorate’s track record at weighing complex questions with both short- and long- term implications and reducing them to black / white, I think this is perhaps better not put to the people.

Depends on your political outlook. I happen to think that the voters got all three of the recent referenda right.

And of course every 5 years the voters choose the next government, which is also a "complex question". In my experience they usually get that right as well.

Maybe my views are closer to the average voter than yours?


Your views probably are closer to the average than mine. It’s nothing to boast about. I’d rather be right than wrong in a crowd.

Referendum is a gerund by the way, not a noun. The plural is referendums not referenda. Perhaps we should put that to a vote by the public. They might get that wrong too!


Actually it may depend upon the type of ballot - whether you mean several votes on the same issue or several votes on different issues

https://www.dailyedge.ie/lets-figure-this-out-whats-the-real-plural-of-referendum-261522-Oct2013/

And, frustratingly, this is where things begin to get even more complicated. The choice between English and Latin plurals is muddled by the very nature of the ballots themselves – as in, whatever matters are being voted on.

Because there isn’t a plural gerund in Latin, the two different options for pluralisation have an actual impact on the meaning of the word itself.

If ‘referendum’ means ‘referral’, then ‘referendums’ – by its inherent definition – pluralises the actual act of voting, according to the Oxford English Dictionary anyway. Using ‘referendums’, therefore, implies having several ballots on a single issue.

The alternative – the attempt to pluralise a Latin word that can’t be pluralised, turning it into ‘referenda’ (just like ‘memoranda’) – implies the other option: the idea of having separate ‘referrals’, i.e. for separate measures.

So, going by the Oxford school: ‘referendums’ means separate votes on a single (or perhaps related) issues, while ‘referenda’ means votes on separate issues.

servodude
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Re: Referendums or Referenda

#453752

Postby servodude » October 28th, 2021, 4:19 am

ursaminortaur wrote:The alternative – the attempt to pluralise a Latin word that can’t be pluralised, turning it into ‘referenda’ (just like ‘memoranda’) – implies the other option: the idea of having separate ‘referrals’, i.e. for separate measures.


If it can't be pluralised in Latin, then surely it's just a pluralisation of the adopted word in English?
And therefore should be subject to the rules thereof?
I'm quite happy for um->a suffix to be considered as a valid (adopted) method/rule for doing so; even though we know it to be "wrong in Latin" (see also nexus and nexuses/nexae).
Mistakes in using one languages can be a valid way of growing others; like German/s using "handy"(from English) for a mobile phone

What I don't get in the above quote is why that should imply a different usage? If would just seen to imply a lack of Latin practice
If I refer someone for multiple positions, or multiple people for a singular one; they are all just referrals (I think)
I have seen examples where a farmer can have many sheep in a field and also breed different sheeps, so I can see that we can use plural variants in English for context
- in this case though the reason is lost on me; I must be missing something?
-sd

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Re: Referendums or Referenda

#453769

Postby GoSeigen » October 28th, 2021, 8:13 am

servodude wrote:- in this case though the reason is lost on me; I must be missing something?
-sd


It's in an Irish publication?

Referendums for me, thanks sd for the cogent explanation in the OP.

GS

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Re: Referendums or Referenda

#453775

Postby servodude » October 28th, 2021, 8:40 am

GoSeigen wrote:
servodude wrote:- in this case though the reason is lost on me; I must be missing something?
-sd


It's in an Irish publication?

Referendums for me, thanks sd for the cogent explanation in the OP.

GS


Ah perhaps my Erse needs a brush up?

Don't think I explained anything, I'm well out my depth and I can't keep track of what's an OP these days with all the flighty threads; I hope this is the pub!

Slainte!

-sd

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Re: Referendums or Referenda

#453896

Postby Lootman » October 28th, 2021, 3:41 pm

Spet0789 wrote:
Lootman wrote:
Spet0789 wrote:Given the British electorate’s track record at weighing complex questions with both short- and long- term implications and reducing them to black / white, I think this is perhaps better not put to the people.

Depends on your political outlook. I happen to think that the voters got all three of the recent referenda right.

And of course every 5 years the voters choose the next government, which is also a "complex question". In my experience they usually get that right as well.

Maybe my views are closer to the average voter than yours?

Your views probably are closer to the average than mine. It’s nothing to boast about. I’d rather be right than wrong in a crowd.

Ah, but how do we know you are right? The majority would likely not agree!

I don't think you, or anyone, can unilaterally decide that they are right. Which is why we have elections and votes in the first place.

Or are you arguing for a non-democratic form of government? Presumably run by minorities who think they are right? :D

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Re: Referendums or Referenda

#453969

Postby GoSeigen » October 28th, 2021, 7:54 pm

servodude wrote:
GoSeigen wrote:
Referendums for me, thanks sd for the cogent explanation in the OP.

GS


[...]

Don't think I explained anything, I'm well out my depth and I can't keep track of what's an OP these days with all the flighty threads; I hope this is the pub!


Oops quite right, it was Spet0789, my bad!

It seems to be Pedants' Place, which is a suitable place for me to be posting ;-)


GS

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Re: Referendums or Referenda

#454865

Postby bungeejumper » November 1st, 2021, 4:23 pm

Spet0789 wrote:Referendum is a gerund by the way, not a noun.

A gerundive, if you don't mind. :evil: (Splutter.) As Alan Clark once insisted to the indomitable Betty Boothroyd. And he should have known, being the son of Lord Clark of Civilisation and all. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/news/105751.stm

Not that either of the monstrous beasts is often seen in the wild. https://matouenpeluche.typepad.com/.a/6 ... eae970d-pi

BJ (chiz, chiz)

Spet0789
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Re: Referendums or Referenda

#454867

Postby Spet0789 » November 1st, 2021, 4:27 pm

Lootman wrote:
Spet0789 wrote:
Lootman wrote:Depends on your political outlook. I happen to think that the voters got all three of the recent referenda right.

And of course every 5 years the voters choose the next government, which is also a "complex question". In my experience they usually get that right as well.

Maybe my views are closer to the average voter than yours?

Your views probably are closer to the average than mine. It’s nothing to boast about. I’d rather be right than wrong in a crowd.

Ah, but how do we know you are right? The majority would likely not agree!

I don't think you, or anyone, can unilaterally decide that they are right. Which is why we have elections and votes in the first place.

Or are you arguing for a non-democratic form of government? Presumably run by minorities who think they are right? :D


There’s a big difference between representative democracy (the traditional U.K. method, has worked fine for centuries) and direct democracy.

Dod101
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Re: Referendums or Referenda

#454870

Postby Dod101 » November 1st, 2021, 4:37 pm

Spet0789 wrote:
Moderator Message:
Refers to this post. - Chris

Lootman wrote:
Spet0789 wrote:Given the British electorate’s track record at weighing complex questions with both short- and long- term implications and reducing them to black / white, I think this is perhaps better not put to the people.

Depends on your political outlook. I happen to think that the voters got all three of the recent referenda right.

And of course every 5 years the voters choose the next government, which is also a "complex question". In my experience they usually get that right as well.

Maybe my views are closer to the average voter than yours?


Your views probably are closer to the average than mine. It’s nothing to boast about. I’d rather be right than wrong in a crowd.

Referendum is a gerund by the way, not a noun. The plural is referendums not referenda. Perhaps we should put that to a vote by the public. They might get that wrong too!


As others have said, I do not think that there is a black or white answer to this, and I think that you are as guilty as anyone else of getting the usage wrong or at least claiming that you and only you are correct. We have adopted the word 'referendum' into English usage and as such are allowed to use it as we please. We are not speaking Latin or any other language and are not required to follow the foreign language rules.

Dod

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Re: Referendums or Referenda

#454913

Postby Spet0789 » November 1st, 2021, 6:46 pm

Dod101 wrote:
Spet0789 wrote:
Moderator Message:
Refers to this post. - Chris

Lootman wrote:Depends on your political outlook. I happen to think that the voters got all three of the recent referenda right.

And of course every 5 years the voters choose the next government, which is also a "complex question". In my experience they usually get that right as well.

Maybe my views are closer to the average voter than yours?


Your views probably are closer to the average than mine. It’s nothing to boast about. I’d rather be right than wrong in a crowd.

Referendum is a gerund by the way, not a noun. The plural is referendums not referenda. Perhaps we should put that to a vote by the public. They might get that wrong too!


As others have said, I do not think that there is a black or white answer to this, and I think that you are as guilty as anyone else of getting the usage wrong or at least claiming that you and only you are correct. We have adopted the word 'referendum' into English usage and as such are allowed to use it as we please. We are not speaking Latin or any other language and are not required to follow the foreign language rules.

Dod


I think that’s precisely the point.

Some posters wrongly apply the rules of a foreign language (specifically the Latin pluralisation of a noun) to a word that has passed into common English usage in an attempt to sound erudite.

The English pluralisation (referendums) is perfectly adequate.

Lootman
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Re: Referendums or Referenda

#454915

Postby Lootman » November 1st, 2021, 6:52 pm

Spet0789 wrote:
Dod101 wrote:
Spet0789 wrote:Your views probably are closer to the average than mine. It’s nothing to boast about. I’d rather be right than wrong in a crowd.

Referendum is a gerund by the way, not a noun. The plural is referendums not referenda. Perhaps we should put that to a vote by the public. They might get that wrong too!

As others have said, I do not think that there is a black or white answer to this, and I think that you are as guilty as anyone else of getting the usage wrong or at least claiming that you and only you are correct. We have adopted the word 'referendum' into English usage and as such are allowed to use it as we please. We are not speaking Latin or any other language and are not required to follow the foreign language rules.

I think that’s precisely the point. Some posters wrongly apply the rules of a foreign language (specifically the Latin pluralisation of a noun) to a word that has passed into common English usage in an attempt to sound erudite.

That is highly entertaining since it was you who introduced the pedantic nitpicking here in an attempt to sound "erudite". Or to distract.

The rest of us just use language naturally, which is what Dod was saying.

Loot (5 years Latin at grammar school)

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Re: Referendums or Referenda

#454916

Postby scrumpyjack » November 1st, 2021, 6:54 pm

referendum or referenda?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/news/105751.stm

Madam Speaker, Betty Boothroyd, ruled it was a matter of taste, but as a classicist I'm with Alan Clark!

ps she's a wonderful lady, what a contrast to that midget who shall not be named. A few years ago we were going to a friend's party in a remote Hertfordshire village and a well dressed lady was walking along the road. We offered her a lift as we assumed she was going to the same party. She was. Hence my opinion is based on personal experience. (She lives in the same village).

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Re: Referendums or Referenda

#454935

Postby genou » November 1st, 2021, 7:29 pm

Lootman wrote:The rest of us just use language naturally...

Loot (5 years Latin at grammar school)


Naturally? Pah! I vote we move on to octopus, and then to hippopotamus.

Genou ( Scottish grammar - 3 years Latin and 3 years Greek )

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Re: Referendums or Referenda

#454941

Postby Lootman » November 1st, 2021, 7:36 pm

genou wrote:
Lootman wrote:The rest of us just use language naturally...

Loot (5 years Latin at grammar school)

Naturally? Pah! I vote we move on to octopus, and then to hippopotamus.

Genou ( Scottish grammar - 3 years Latin and 3 years Greek )

Well respect for taking Greek (ancient, I assume). That was a step too far for me, who took the German option instead.

"Octupi" I could do at a pinch. Hippopotami, not so much. These days it is all about what sounds right, not what some long-dead stuffy Classics teacher claimed 50 years ago.

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Re: Referendums or Referenda

#454992

Postby Dod101 » November 1st, 2021, 10:25 pm

Lootman wrote:
genou wrote:
Lootman wrote:The rest of us just use language naturally...

Loot (5 years Latin at grammar school)

Naturally? Pah! I vote we move on to octopus, and then to hippopotamus.

Genou ( Scottish grammar - 3 years Latin and 3 years Greek )

Well respect for taking Greek (ancient, I assume). That was a step too far for me, who took the German option instead.

"Octupi" I could do at a pinch. Hippopotami, not so much. These days it is all about what sounds right, not what some long-dead stuffy Classics teacher claimed 50 years ago.


I love it! My simple brain could only handle maths. I was absolutely hopeless in arts subjects but over the years I have come to appreciate the written word. (Actually I always did and haunted our public library)

Dod

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Re: Referendums or Referenda

#455043

Postby UncleEbenezer » November 2nd, 2021, 8:24 am

Lootman wrote:
genou wrote:
Lootman wrote:The rest of us just use language naturally...

Loot (5 years Latin at grammar school)

Naturally? Pah! I vote we move on to octopus, and then to hippopotamus.

Genou ( Scottish grammar - 3 years Latin and 3 years Greek )

Well respect for taking Greek (ancient, I assume). That was a step too far for me, who took the German option instead.

"Octupi" I could do at a pinch. Hippopotami, not so much. These days it is all about what sounds right, not what some long-dead stuffy Classics teacher claimed 50 years ago.


Patrick Barrington wrote:My housekeeper regarded him with jaundice in her eye.
She did not want a colony of hippopotami.

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Re: Referendums or Referenda

#455053

Postby bungeejumper » November 2nd, 2021, 8:58 am

UncleEbenezer wrote:My housekeeper regarded him with jaundice in her eye.
She did not want a colony of hippopotami.

One of my all-time favourite poems. Particularly popular among the schoolkids when I was teaching in the seventies. https://allpoetry.com/I-had-a-hippopotamus .

At university, I once had a friend who got somewhat rowdy in a pub. While he was being frog-marched off the premises, he yelled at the patrons that they were nothing but a bunch of ignorami. Dylan Thomas might have got away with that, but my friend didn't. We were all banned for laughing. :(

BJ

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Re: Referendums or Referenda

#456271

Postby BobbyD » November 7th, 2021, 2:10 pm

Referendums or Referenda


Both.

referendum

NOUN plural noun referendums, plural noun referenda/ˌrɛfəˈrɛndə/


- https://www.lexico.com/definition/referendum

Although referenda obviously if only on the grounds that it is easier on the ear.


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