Plurals

Q. The plural of “curriculum” is “curricula.” Why does the dictionary list “symposiums” as an acceptable plural for “symposium”? And does the rule differ for every plural of words ending in -um?

A. “Curricula” is the plural in Latin. In American English, the plural is “curriculums.” Both are correct, although in academic writing, there is a tradition of using the Latin plurals. Chicago editors follow Webster’s 11th Collegiate when forming plurals of adopted words, but please see CMOS 7.6.