An English problem.

  1. Hello everyone
    I have been the memeber of this forum for several months and now i have this problem. I do not speak English as my first language. Now some of my friends have an argument about several words in English. In the sentence :' we arranged to meet at 1.30 pm and I made a note in my ... to that effect' we must use one of the following words : agenda, schedule and diary.
    I often use 'agenda', but some of them disagreed, so I hope i can have an explanation by any of you in this forum.
  2. jcsd
  3. cristo

    cristo 8,387
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    I think one should use the word diary in this case. The oxford english dictionary gives the definition for "agenda: a list of matters to be dealt with."

    Thus, an "agenda" doesn't necessarily include dates and times; it just tells you what you intend to do. Since you are arranging a meeting at a particular time, then this would be more likely to be entered into a "diary: a book marked with each day's date in which to note appointments".

    This is just my take on it, anyway!
  4. Thank you cristo.
    I ve got only one last question. My notebook that i use to make notes of things to do such as meetings, telephoning someone, etc.. is printed as AGENDA2007, that's why i thought the correct word shoud be agenda.
  5. Schedule is not the right word. It's just a timetable.

    Diary is perfectly correct, according to various dictionaries. The word is also synonymous with journal, a daily record of your personal experiences and observations that some people keep for themselves. This sense does not refer to items of discussion planned for future meetings.

    Agenda is both a singular and a plural term (the word "agendum" has fallen out of favor). This means that an agenda can be a single list of items to be discussed at a meeting, or multiple lists. Since you will only be in one meeting at at time, each list shows a place and time. In this sense, the word is also appropriate for your purpose.

    Then you need to consider social and marketing aspects. Keeping a diary is not macho. Little girls keep diaries. Men keep journals. You'll see the "Princess Diaries" and the "Captain's Journal". When did you last hear a CEO talk about his diary? Likewise, the word "agenda" means business, serious rough 'n tough professional business. It sells better. I think the word is progressively displacing "diary" as the term of choice.
  6. cristo

    cristo 8,387
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Like I said, that was just my understanding of the difference between the words. There's nothing wrong with using the word agenda, I just think that diary is more suitable. Either way, it's mostly just down to personal preference.
  7. Thank you all for your explanations. It is clear to me now. May be i still keep my way to call it agenda, that somehow makes me a little bit more firmly on the track of what to do.
  8. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    NO, no no!!!

    The correct word would be schedule. You place meetings into your SCHEDULE.

    A diary is for private, personal notes and an agenda is the outline you wish to follow.
  9. In the sentence "I made a note in my ... " you cannot make a note in something that is abstract like a schedule.

    What you can say is: "I placed it into my schedule".
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2007
  10. radou

    radou 3,108
    Homework Helper

    I'm not sure the term "schedule" is abstract. Anyway, it's about a plan, so I vote for schedule.

    (What a discussion! :tongue:)
  11. I vote for whatever it says on the thingy. If you have a booklet that says "Diary" on the cover then call it that. If you got something that says "Agenda" on it then call it that. If you bought something that says "Schedule" on it then... where the heck did you buy that? :bugeye:

    (Yeah! What a fiery debate!)
  12. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    Differences in the use of the English language - it's a common problem. :biggrin:

    I think these days, people use a 'planner'. Schedule is not abstract, although it is non-physical, in the sense that it is a time based sequence of events, which may or may not be written.

    On the other hand, schedule can mean a written document as in a list, catalog, or inventory (but perhaps this is a less common use these days), or a program (non physical), or an agenda.

    Those are the conventional uses. One could put one's schedule in a diary. Agendas are itemized lists or outlines of things to be considered or done, and they may or may not have a schedule. The agenda for a conference may have times associated with papers and presentations, but an agenda for a meeting may only have the items for discussion without constraint of a schedule.
  13. radou

    radou 3,108
    Homework Helper

    In other words, there is no correct answer. (?) :biggrin:
  14. If you are making a mental note, I would say "The meeting is on my agenda for tomorrow".

    If you are making a written note, I would say "I put the meeting on my schedule".

    A "journal" is typically a record of the past.

    Everyone wants to contribute to the thread about which they feel themselves to be a fully qualified expert.
  15. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    There are so many types of planners now. PDA's are replacing the planners.

    I am required to carry a scheduler to keep track of meetings. Depending on the brand it may say "appointments" or "meetings" or "calendar". For each meeting, I must create an "agenda". The agenda states the "goals" of the meeting - -what I plan to accomplish. A time line, who is going to discuss what and in which order.

    A "diary" is normally a personal journal of thoughts. Although it can be something more.

    I think for his assignment "schedule" is the appropriate answer, although the correct word would be "planner".
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2007
  16. Moonbear

    Moonbear 11,955
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I put things on my calendar, or in a planner, so that they are included in my schedule, which includes my daily agenda, and is far too boring to write in a diary. :biggrin:

    Calendar or planner are most appropriate for your usage, but agenda is okay as well. Usually, when someone says, "I'll put that on my agenda," they mean more of a mental note, or that they'll add it to a to-do list (agendas are more of a list of things than things planned out on a calendar). They don't usually mean the actual calendar/planner book. A diary is a journal, someplace to keep private notes, but not really a place for keeping scheduling information, so isn't correct here.
  17. It's very interesting to read all your posts here, but after that i could not choose the right answer again. I didn't expect this is so controversial even for those whose speak English as first language like all of you (I guess).
    I feel some of you might not pay much attention at the context:
    "We arranged to meet at 1.30pm and I made a note in my ...... to that effect."
  18. cristo

    cristo 8,387
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Not necessarily; as I quoted above "diary: a book marked with each day's date in which to note appointments".

    I think this thread proves that the word used is completely down to personal choice. Some would choose schedule, some would choose diary; neither are incorrect!
  19. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    One of the individuals with whom I worked kept a 'list of things to do'. My wife writes meetings or events on the calendar, which is located on the refrigerator.

    Personally, I keep a mental note and show up for meetings or rendezvous.
  20. For me those words are nearly the same in this context, but if I have to choose, agenda can be my choice.
  21. People from England keep appointments in a diary. <--- that's a full-stop, not a period :tongue: :biggrin:
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thead via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?