Singular vs. plural form of the word "forum"

I’ve noticed that some Discourse instances refer to their community as a forum, and some refer to their community as forums. For example:

Welcome to the forum


Welcome to the forums

Is this just an anomaly of the English language? — are they both correct? Or is it one of those “everybody does it and there is no reasonable hope of correcting this” kind of things?

I personally would use the singular form when referring to a specific community, Like:

the Discourse meta forum



In vBulletin, the top-level category equivalent is called a forum. Thus, the community site exists of multiple forums.

The plural form is used relatively more often by people that have more vBulletin affinity, I think.


That would be the proper form to use - the singular. Some instances are running multi-site forums - sometimes in different languages. Thus, they would use the plural “forums”.
So, forum = 1, forums = 2 or more.

Good question.

It’s one of those things that has become fluid over time. I think the plural of forum is actually fora but it’s so infrequently used that it’s instinct. And weird.

I say forums because I cut my teeth on vB and there were literally lots of (sub)forums but if it worked like that now we should call this the Meta categories.

We should prob just say community.


It depends on weather you think about the forum as a unique common place or as set of individual places for discussion about different themes (subforums).

In latin plural is fora, but you are not speaking latin, you are speaking english, and both terms, fora and forums are accepted for the plural.


The use of forum or forums can be argued both ways because it depends how people see the places and spaces they interact in.

As said already, fora is normally only used for ancient Roman/Latin meeting places.

Today, we see the primary meaning of forum as placeless and rather abstract because a forum is commonly a meeting without reference to the meetingplace:

  • The international forum on climate change

    This forum exists wherever those people meet.

  • The conference provided a useful forum for the exchange of views and ideas.

    While the conference is in a place, we don’t usually refer to the place where the conference is held, ie. it seems strange to say The hotel conference room provided a useful forum for the exchange of views and ideas.

All this change doesn’t mean that we should confuse a community of people with a forum as a meeting or meetingplace where our community of people meet to exchange ideas and opinions.