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  1. azhu's Avatar
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    #1

    Smile public agenda, public issue, public topic, are these the same?

    Do "public agenda", "public issue", and "public topic" mean the same? If not, how are they different?

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    #2

    Re: public agenda, public issue, public topic, are these the same?

    They do not mean the same. I'm not even sure what they are supposed to mean.

    It's difficult to say how they are different when they are not even common collocations.

    Where did you find these phrases?

    Rover

  2. azhu's Avatar
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    #3

    Red face Re: public agenda, public issue, public topic, are these the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    They do not mean the same. I'm not even sure what they are supposed to mean.

    It's difficult to say how they are different when they are not even common collocations.

    Where did you find these phrases?

    Rover
    Oh! I didn't know they are confusing. Let me try to make it clearer.

    My classmates and I were discussing how to say "common events or problems that are happening in the country or around the world that are concerned and discussed by people" in English.
    Like, poverty, corruption in politics, preventing natural disasters, schools not having enough money to develop education but the tuition being already too high for students....etc. Is there a word to describe these?

    Those three words, some(public issue, public topic) were found by a classmate on the Net, some (public agenda) provided by another classmate who said that she has heard of one English speaker spoke so. But we were all not sure using which one.
    Last edited by azhu; 03-Feb-2012 at 04:35.

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    #4

    Re: public agenda, public issue, public topic, are these the same?

    Public issue is OK.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: public agenda, public issue, public topic, are these the same?

    OK-ish BNC lists it, but at no. 287 in the 'public + <noun>' possibilities - more than 130 times less common than 'public sector' (the commonest in BNC - not in COCA though). See more here: corpus.byu.edu/bnc/x.asp?

    Given the context, it would be possible to work out what 'public issue' signifies, but I think a native speaker would use more words - something like 'issue of popular/current concern'. Are you trying to do a word-for-word translation of two words in your native language, azhu?

    'Agenda' comes from the Latin agenda, meaning 'things that should be done'. In its concrete form an agenda is a list of things to be discussed at a meeting. However, 'agenda' can have a figurative meaning - 'things that someone wants to do'. This explains the collocation 'public agenda': 'things that someone wants done, made public'. This is probably the usage your friend heard..

    b

  4. azhu's Avatar
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    #6

    Lightbulb Re: public agenda, public issue, public topic, are these the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    OK-ish BNC lists it, but at no. 287 in the 'public + <noun>' possibilities - more than 130 times less common than 'public sector' (the commonest in BNC - not in COCA though). See more here: corpus.byu.edu/bnc/x.asp?

    Given the context, it would be possible to work out what 'public issue' signifies, but I think a native speaker would use more words - something like 'issue of popular/current concern'. Are you trying to do a word-for-word translation of two words in your native language, azhu?

    'Agenda' comes from the Latin agenda, meaning 'things that should be done'. In its concrete form an agenda is a list of things to be discussed at a meeting. However, 'agenda' can have a figurative meaning - 'things that someone wants to do'. This explains the collocation 'public agenda': 'things that someone wants done, made public'. This is probably the usage your friend heard..

    b
    Thank you very much for giving me a thorough explanation! It helped a lot! > w <
    You are right, we were actually directly translating our native language into English, "public" + "issue"...
    And your explanation of "public agenda" is also very clear that I am more sure about what kind of meaning "public agenda" implies. Thank you!

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: public agenda, public issue, public topic, are these the same?

    Thank you.

    Afterthought: sometimes - possibly to avoid using extra words - we borrow the German word Zeitgeist (literally ='time ghost' - /'zɑɪtgɑɪst/*). It doesn't mean exactly the same - 'Zeitgeist' (in English) is more to do with fashion (a 'look' that is popular). One of the Br newspapers (the Guardian, I think) used to have a supplement called 'Zeitgeist'.

    b

    PS *German scholars may complain that the first consonant is the afffricate [ʦ]. I have seldom heard this 'correct' pronunciation (except from people showing off their erudition English people don't care too much about other peoples' languages!)

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