the optics of the situation


Senior Member
Indonesian; Chinese

What does 'the optics of the situation' mean?

Well, it's so far from what I think is necessary that I don't think it's a it's a good bill. But I think if it goes down, just because of the optics of the situation and the way the Republicans have framed this as a make or break moment for President Obama, it will make it easier for the Republicans to take control of Congress in 2010.
  • FNA

    I'm guessing it means in this context perception/ public perception.

    I don't like it.


    Senior Member
    British English
    Agreed. Good to know politicians internationally speak as much nonsense as ours in the UK.

    It sounds to me as if the speaker wants to appear to be making an intelligent comment without, in fact, saying anything he has to commit to. "All words and no substance" springs to mind.


    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi barry

    "Optics" was a jargon word in the world I worked in, too. It meant "the way things looked/would look" or "the way things appeared/would appear to the general public".


    Senior Member
    British English
    Don't worry, Barrysondakh. I was certainly not irritated by your question; just the politician who said such rubbish. A little more plain speaking in Government might achieve a lot.

    Loob has given a good answer.


    New Member
    to me it makes the speaker appear to not necessarily disapprove of the activity, but just not like the way it appears