One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Treated as plural: miscellaneous remarks and observations; notes, miscellanea. With singular concord: a book consisting of these, a commonplace book.
Late 16th century. From classical Latin adversāria things written on one side of the page, notes, observations (Cicero), in post-classical Latin also commonplace book, use as noun (short for scripta adversāria) of neuter plural of adversārius.
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