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How Do You Say Curriculum? Curricula or Curriculum

How do you say curriculum? @TheHomeScholarHow Do You Say Curriculum? Curricula or Curriculum


I pride myself on writing the way that I talk, to make my books approachable and easy to understand. I figure the less you work to read my books, the more information you will learn. I know parents have different learning styles, and like to learn in different ways, so I try to provide books, videos, and social-interaction services that will fit everyone's learning style. But to do that... well, let's just say I use colloquial language when writing about curriculum.

Curricula or curriculum?

It's like data and datum. It used to be everyone knew the difference, but now everyone says "data" all the time for everything, now matter how many or how few pieces of information they are talking about. When was the last time you said "datum" in a sentence?

You see, curriculum is actually singular. Curricula is plural. I can count on one hand the number of homeschoolers who have used "curricula" when talking to me. Yup, I know that it's technically incorrect to use "curriculum" when referring to multiples science book options. At the same time, I'm afraid that it will be distracting for parents if I change to curricula or curriculums. Or worse, they will think I'm some hoity-toity, persnickety, post-doctoral educator that judges and evaluates. That's just not me.

When I was homeschooling, I always had my children reading challenging literature, and wanted them to expand their vocabulary. I was trying to increase the range of their understanding, and challenge them so they could interact with college professors intelligently. For my children, I would have chosen a book using the word "curricula" correctly. But when I was homeschooling, I was too busy to read books that slowed me down with their word choice. I had a hard enough time keeping up with the laundry and feeding my family. When authors made it quick for me to read and easy for me to understand, I was thankful.

I'm really, really sorry to the people who are offended when I incorrectly use the colloquial "curriculum".  But I pride myself on writing the way I speak, so it's approachable. Will you still love me anyway?

Which do you prefer? Curricula or curriculum? Does it bother you when an author uses curriculum when it's plural?

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Comments 1

Guest - Kris @ Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers (website) on Friday, 18 September 2015 14:35

This made me smile because, like you, I know the difference, but choose not the quibble over it. It doesn't fit with my normal, informal, Southern style of speaking.

This made me smile because, like you, I know the difference, but choose not the quibble over it. It doesn't fit with my normal, informal, Southern style of speaking.
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Saturday, 15 August 2020

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