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‘Calendar’ as a Verb

Who uses 'calendar' as a verb?

By
Mignon Fogarty,
October 27, 2016

Here's a tidbit about using the word calendar as a verb. Last week I saw this sentence in an e-mail newsletter:

Be sure to calendar some of this week’s activities.

Be sure to calendar, meaning be sure to put these on your calendar.

It jumped out at me as odd. I’d never seen calendar used that way before, and since I always find new word uses interesting, I tweeted a picture of it, and what surprised me was not all the people cringing and saying how they hate it when people verb nouns (which is a topic for another day), but that so many people actually use calendar this way all the time. As is so often the case when you notice something that seems new—it’s not new!

‘To Calendar’ in Business and Law

Juan, who works in sales, says its commonplace, as does Jess who said she might say, “I’ve calendared five vendor interviews.” And I got many messages from people who work in law saying it’s common in courts and legislatures.

An attorney named Tom gave the example “The case is calendared for the third week in November,” and Iva gave the example “The bill is nowhere if the chair won’t calendar it.”

Even the Texas A&M Writing Center uses it. They teach grad students how to calendar—in other words, how to set realistic goals and plan out dissertation writing in manageable chunks.

Origin of ‘Calendar’

I was blown away. I also checked the OED, and calendar as a verb goes all the way back to the 1400s, although back then it meant to record something or register it in a list, which makes sense because the word calendar comes from the Latin word calendarium, which means “account book.”

Today, the Merriam-Webster online dictionary has it listed as a verb with an example from the New York Law Journal, and it’s also listed as a verb in dictionary.com and the online American Heritage Dictionary. In fact, I couldn’t find a dictionary that didn’t include calendar as a verb. There’s absolutely no way we can say it’s new.

The best I can tell is that to talk about calendaring things is common in the legal profession and in some business settings, and now it’s seeping into more general use.

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