The Definition of Private
Anyone who has ever received one of those pesky telemarketer phone calls during dinner most likely understands the idea of a private phone number. No one likes to have their phone line invaded by paid phone operators who just want your money. Working long and hard on a group presentation regarding technology threatening/improving privacy, one can realize that the word private has several different connotations and meanings. Yet, when generally facing the word, it usually means the opposite of public.
Looking at An American Dictionary of the English Language, private is noted as something unconnected with others, and even sequestered from company or observation. Therefore, this could be something that was taken away, or just something that stands unaccompanied. The word private is often linked to the word alone. A private beach house, for example, is located in an area on the beach where no one else resides.
While these definitions further distinguish things which are private from those which are public, Dictionary.com explains private as something secluded from sight, presence, or intrusion of others. A private meeting would be one in which no one else can hear, see, or probably even knows about. All of those factors combined together aid in creating a private atmosphere for the meeting.
Private is explained in The Oxford English Dictionary as withdrawn from public life. All definitions clearly state that private’s meaning is directly connected with keeping away from the public. Whether discussing one’s life, certain documents, or even a simple conversation, if it’s private, the public isn’t aware of it.
The meanings of the word...