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It's common for folks to add an "event" to one's calendar saying that something is due at a particular date and time.

Calendar apps call everything they store an "event."

But it feels there should be a difference between a "due date" and an event that is "something that happens" or "an activity you want to attend."

One could argue that the due date (or due datetime) is "the instant in time in which something becomes past due" so the transition from not-due-yet to past-due is a kind of event (happening in time) but this feels like a stretch.

Or is it not? Is it just me? Is a due-date in a calendar really an "event"? Or is there a word in English that exactly describes the pseudo-event of the form "I just put this due date in my calendar so I get a reminder"?

An example of a "due date" added to a calendar might be a bill that needs to be paid or an assignment to turn in. No one to meet, no one to call, no place to be, just a task to complete. So when asking "what is on your calendar?" the response of "I have three events, an appointment, a meeting, and my application is due." Here "event," I think, is better replaced with "calendar item" or just elided. An alternative is "I have two events and a target date" but I was wondering if there was an effective synonym for "target date."

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    Why would you need to describe a date, a number in fact, with a separate word when you could say "June 2 is the deadline to pay the electricity bill?"
    – user405662
    Jun 1, 2021 at 7:31
  • Due date and deadline are the phrases I'd associate with something being due. I don't understand why you're rejecting that - when you say Or is there a word in English that exactly describes the pseudo-event of the form "I just put this due date in my calendar so I get a reminder"? it sounds like you're looking for a word meaning "when a deadline is set" rather than "when a deadline expires" - is that right?
    – Stuart F
    Jun 1, 2021 at 10:27
  • Perhaps you should follow the rules for single-word-requests and post an example sentence.
    – Stuart F
    Jun 1, 2021 at 10:29
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    Are you looking for a word you can use in normal conversation relating to any calendar, either electronic or physical; or are you wanting the app to give you different terms for different types of calendar entry? In the first case the term used by the app is irrelevant to normal conversation so you can say "I've put your birthday/ our Wedding/ Parents' Evening/ date the car tax runs out onto (or into) the calendar" With a paper calendar you just have an empty box and a pencil, with the app you go with whatever the developer called it
    – BoldBen
    Jun 1, 2021 at 12:09
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    In the context of calendar apps, event is technical term. There is probably no similar term in ordinary language, because, outside the apps, we don't need a hypernym for concerts, birthdays, due dates, etc. They don't have anything in common other than being something one may need to be reminded of. (English doesn't have gerundives; if it did, a gerundive of remind would be the right word.)
    – jsw29
    Jun 1, 2021 at 16:23

1 Answer 1

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I offer two choices. There is little difference between them. Both are associated with the idea of an event happening at a specific time, and its therefore being explicitly listable in a sequence such as a calendar.

The first relates to events marked by your meeting someone at an “appointed” time.

Appointment = a formal arrangement to meet or visit someone at a particular time and place:

Cambridge

The second relates to your having “engaged” to meet someone or do something.

Engagement = an arrangement to meet someone or do something at a particular time:

Cambridge

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  • Neither term would normally be used to refer to due dates. I don't have an appointment to return the library books by Tuesday, not do I have an engagement to pay the bill by Wednesday.
    – jsw29
    Jun 1, 2021 at 16:09
  • @jsw29 I on the other hand would consider that I had an engagement to return my books at a planned time, and an appointment to pay on (not "by" as in your example) Wednesday. One can only try to find relevant dictionary definitions in a case like this. It is unusual for a definition to fit exactly and it is often easy to find specific examples that detract from the use of the definition. Nevertheless, definitions are useful common ground on which to base a discussion.
    – Anton
    Jun 1, 2021 at 17:05
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    I don’t see how either appointment or engagement makes sense for an entry that’s a due date or deadline.
    – Jim
    Jun 2, 2021 at 4:26
  • I don't see that birthday or wedding anniversary entries in a calendar can be said to be either appointments or engagements. They are reminders to buy and send cards, wish the person many happy returns but there is no specific action involved.
    – BoldBen
    Jun 2, 2021 at 23:02

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