Community/communal leader

Elite1

Member
~NG English, Nigeria
Good day, WR buddies!
I personally find selecting some words collocations difficult in English language, especially the tenet 'either using attributive noun or natural adjective'. Take for example, one would expect 'communal leader' and 'community leader' to mean the same thing but I feel unsatisfied about the concept surrounding words like these.

I'm aware that it's not like this for some.

May be, I'm wrong with my take up there. Come to my aid!
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    The time-honoured expression is community leader.

    Having worked for many years in race relations, I personally dislike the term because I suspect it's used by politicians and journalists to mean "an unelected person whom I wish to single out as a spokesman for a group of people that I can't be bothered to identify, and who can then be held responsible when things go wrong".

    The seminal work on this phenomenon is H.M. Gluckman's writings on the intercalary position of the headman in British West Africa.
     

    Elite1

    Member
    ~NG English, Nigeria
    The time-honoured expression is community leader.

    Having worked for many years in race relations, I personally dislike the term because I suspect it's used by politicians and journalists to mean "an unelected person whom I wish to single out as a spokesman for a group of people that I can't be bothered to identify, and who can then be held responsible when things go wrong".

    The seminal work on this phenomenon is H.M. Gluckman's writings on the intercalary position of the headman in British West Africa.
    Thanks! So, could you conjure any sentence with 'communal.….' collocation.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Communal means for me "used by everybody". So there might be a communal bath-house, a communal meeting-hall... I once stayed in a tiny village in the south of France that had a communal bread-oven, where all the housewives would gather to chat while their bread baked.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Oh, simply put, it's only acceptable when used with inanimates?

    It's difficult to find a context where we might talk about a human being who is shared within a community.

    For example, a "communal gardener" (note the inverted commas, which show that it isn't a commonly-recognised term) is a gardener in a communal garden - a garden that belongs to a local community. It isn't a gardener who is shared by several employers, as one might imagine.

    Based on our study of gardening amongst older people, we would identify a fourth ‘gardener profile’— that of the ‘communal gardener’...
    https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/71709.pdf
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Communal" generally makes me think of either "shared" or "related to a commune" not "related to a community" so a "communal leader" would either be shared by multiple organizations (which is odd) or the leader of a commune (a specific type of community where things are shared rather than individually owned).
     

    Elite1

    Member
    ~NG English, Nigeria
    What If another meaning from the English Oxford dictionary is looked in to ?- "pertaining to a community" which I can take 'communal leader' to mean leader associated with a community.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    What If another meaning from the English Oxford dictionary
    I don't look up words in the OED as I'm speaking, listening, or reading to see if they have less common meanings. I'm telling what I would think if you said it, not of all the things it might mean if I spent an hour researching every word in the sentence.
     
    Top