data vs datum : Common Errors in English

About data vs datum

There are several words with Latin or Greek roots whose plural forms ending in A are constantly mistaken for singular ones. See, for instance, and . “Datum” is so rare now in English that people may assume “data” has no singular form. Many American usage communities, however, use “data” as a singular and some have even gone so far as to invent “datums” as a new plural. This is a case where you need to know the patterns of your context. An engineer or scientist used to writing “the data is” may well find that the editors of a journal or publishing house insist on changing this phrase to “the data are.” Usage is so evenly split in this case that there is no automatic way of determining which is right; but writers addressing an international audience of nonspecialists would probably be safer treating “data” as plural.

data Meaning(s)

  • (n) a collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn
  • (n) an item of factual information derived from measurement or research

datum Meaning(s)

  • (n) an item of factual information derived from measurement or research

data in News

  1. New Data from Shows Rewarding Trusted Non-Employees Increases Referral Hires by 41 Percent

    Internal data from, a social employee referral management platform, indicates a boost in hiring rates when trusted non-employees are rewarded for referrals. (PRWeb June 13, 2013) Read the full story at
    on June 13, 2013 Source: PRWeb

  2. RagingWire data firm to expand in Virginia

    RagingWire Data Centers of Sacramento said Wednesday it's investing $150 million to expand its
    on June 13, 2013 Source: The Sacramento Bee

  3. First Data Leverages Bank Relationships with Latest Mobile Payment Solution for Merchants

    First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, today introduced the next phase of Pogo>®, which first launched in 2012 as a mobile payment solution for the small business and emerging merchant community in the U.S.
    on June 12, 2013 Source: Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance

datum in News

  • Tiny Datum receives key quality certification

    SANTA ROSA -- Datum Technologies passed another milestone last week. After a year of careful documentation and other qualifying measures the precision machine shop received its AS9100C quality-control certification for ... Read more »
    on June 10, 2013 Source: North Bay Business Journal

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