Definition Essay- The Evolved Meaning of Private

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Definition Essay- The Evolved Meaning of Private

The word private has changed very much over the past 600 years. When the word first originated it had a few concise meanings. Today, the word private has plenty of definitions, some of which many people do not know. For instance, it is interesting to learn that private means "apart from the state" or "a person not receiving treatment under the National Health Service or any similar state scheme" (Landau). Spending time looking through dictionaries helps to gain a much better understanding of a word many think they know very well.

The various dictionaries containing private states it as meaning "seclusion, apart from the public body, a soldier with rank below corporal, etc." which
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When Professor Dowell talked about private citizens as opposed to President Bush who is a public citizen, it was easy to see the connection to the definition of private meaning "apart from the state." The word private itself originally meant "withdrawn from public body" in 1380 (Simpson). Over time it has evolved into "pertaining to oneself" and is now generally seen as "the seclusion or personal space of people and/or things" (The Oxford American Dictionary).

The concept of private has now become a choice. It is a choice to make meetings, galas, parties, charity events, banquets, bathrooms and bedrooms private. Those that are less fortunate, such as the homeless, do not have a choice to live privately. The individuals who do choose to live privately do so in large part due to their fears and insecurities of public opinion. Although private plays a big roll in conversation and at work, among other things, there are many aspects of life that are not private at all. Work associated with SLWP is not private work. The fact that it remains private or goes on to be public work, however, is a choice. All work posted on the web is open to the public and subjected to scrutiny and criticism. Also, through in-class work, students can gain a better understanding of the non-private lives of politicians, especially those in high power. As seen in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11,
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