Re: On "consensed" [was Request from Manzanita Village in Arizona: How does your community handle members who abuse the community e-mail?
From: Chuck Harrison (
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 2021 15:27:43 -0800 (PST)
I have found "consense" creeping into usage in our cohousing group over the
last few years and I have no problem with it.

As used in this community, "to consense on" means "to reach consensus on";
it is useful jargon in the context of a group using formal consensus
decisionmaking. (In such a context, "consensus" itself is a jargon word.)

Note that grammatically a *group* will "consense on", while *individuals*
"consent to".

In local usage I also hear "let's consense on this topic" to mean "let's
discuss this using the consensus process", without there being a specific
proposal seeking consensus; this feels clear enough if a bit sloppy to me,
but I am not prone to agitation about orthology.


On Sun, Jan 17, 2021 at 10:36 AM Sharon Villines via Cohousing-L <
cohousing-l [at]> wrote:

> > On Jan 16, 2021, at 11:29 PM, Melanie G <gomelaniego [at]> wrote:
> >
> > My post was very specifically about the term "consensed on".  Not about
> > consensus being original to occupy... at ... all.  I personally am not a
> > fan of such neologisms.  To me they muddy the process of consensus, and
> the
> > meanings of words.  It is absolutely not the same to me to "agree to"
> > something as to give one's consent.
> I agree. To consent is not to agree but only to consent. Although
> “consented to” is much less thuddy. Making up words sometimes does add
> clarity but "consensed on” I don’t find one of them.
> I belong to a list of copyeditors and writers to whom I regularly query
> for advice on word usage. I posted my question at 10:56 and immediately
> started getting responses.
> My question: In speaking of group decisions, “consensed on” is rapidly
> taking the lead over “consented to.”  I know in my heart that “consensed
> on” thuds on the ear, and my spell checker doesn’t accept it, but what is
> technically wrong with it?
> > "Thud" seems to me to be too kind. Outside of this group of users
> (business jargon?), the verb "consense" doesn't exist, and I sincerely hope
> it doesn't catch on.
> >
> > Barf. Ugly and useless back-formation, surely just corporate jargon
> trying to sound smart.
> >
> > ACK, YUCK, PTUI! It will never survive in anything I work on, if I can
> possibly help it.
> >
> > It’s just plain ugly. There’s no need for it. "consented to" or "reached
> consensus" on are just fine.
> >
> > There is no such verb as “consense.” Even visually, it goes against
> common sense. :)
> >
> > I think “on” is the problem. Better to "consense about” or even
> “consense around.”
> >
> > Congeal? Coalesce? Converge? Asymptotically approach?
> >
> > The use of consense is clearly not consensual here! :)
> There will be more — that was just the first 30 minutes on a Sunday
> morning. I don’t think “consensed” is going to make it onto a copyedited
> print page anytime soon.
> Sharon
> ----
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
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