Results 1 to 5 of 5
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 431
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    public life

    "Let me confess to a pinprick of irritation at the emergence of Barack Obama as the first truly credible non-white candidate for president of the US. To begin with, there's the problem of wearily having to answer my white friends' plaintive question each time a significant black figure shoots across the American firmament: "Why can't we have a British Obama (or Martin Luther King or Malcolm X or Oprah Winfrey)?" The implied challenge to black Britons in public life is: why can't you be more like him/her?"
    In several dictionaries, "public life: is defined as
    public service: employment as an appointed or elected official accountable to the public,
    But it seems in the British English, the phrase also refers to publicly known life. This paragraph is written by a British writer. Just want to check with you about this. I think here it means publicly known life.









    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Oct 2008
    • Posts: 1,211
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: public life

    Even in the example given, public life refers to the life of one in public service as a politician or such.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2006
    • Posts: 431
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: public life

    Thank you for your explanation. In any other cases, I would not even think about meaning other than the life of one in public service as a politician or such. But here the three examples given by the writer including Oprah, are not people in public service. That's why I asked the question.

    Quote Originally Posted by jlinger View Post
    Even in the example given, public life refers to the life of one in public service as a politician or such.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 52,311
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: public life

    In BrE, it can either refer to politicans and others who serve the public, but the meaning can be extended to celebrities and "role models", etc.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Oct 2008
    • Posts: 1,211
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: public life

    Ah, yes, of course, celebrities and role models - same here. I was thinking of how it did NOT apply to military or clergy, in fact. Forgot about the other obvious ones. Thanks.

Similar Threads

  1. [Essay] My life
    By lvcastaneda@yahoo.com in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-Mar-2009, 18:08
  2. Life Is Never the Way You Want It To Be
    By flowerseed in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 28-Sep-2008, 03:34
  3. How to Throw Your Life Away
    By kevin92 in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 13-Oct-2007, 05:56

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •