UN Security Council <privately discusses> oil tanker attacks

NewAmerica

Senior Member
Mandarin
As I read the title, I thought "Can an organization do something privately?" If "privately" meant "secretly" here, how did you know?

The question of this thread is: What does "privately" mean in this context?

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1 hr 4 min ago
UN Security Council privately discusses oil tanker attacks
The United Nations Security Council today privately discussed the latest oil tanker attacks in the Middle East, but declined to produce any formal reaction.

Source: CNN
Gulf of Oman tankers attacked: Live updates
 
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    It's simply the opposite of publicly, where many of their discussions occur. In this context, how would you define secretly and privately as different? The council is a group of people.
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    That is a typical question: "If it is a secret, how do you know?"
    The answer is "I have my way."
    Now what is the way of CNN to have known the "secret"?
    My guess is that when CNN reporter went to UNSC, he's told "We don't accept any interview in this discussion, which is private." (As you explain that it is simply the opposite of public."

    What is interresting is CNN reporter has reported quite a few information of the private discussion.

    Thank you. :)
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    We can know that they had discussions in private/secret (no-one else was present) without knowing what was said. I'm not sure what your question/issue is.
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    We can know that they had discussions in private/secret (no-one else was present) without knowing what was said. I'm not sure what your question/issue is.
    Yes I agree that "We can know that they had discussions in private/secret" because reporters can be simply told "It's private. No entering."

    The question is that this CNN reporter seems to have known something of the discussion, not your "without knowing what was said": Have you read the content under the title "UN Security Council privately discusses oil tanker attacks"? Some content of the private discussion is there.

    My guess is that this is informal leaking.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Yes I agree that "We can know that they had discussions in private/secret" because reporters can be simply told "It's private. No entering."

    The question is that this CNN reporter seems to have known something of the discussion, not your "without knowing what was said": Have you read the content under the title "UN Security Council privately discusses oil tanker attacks"? Some content of the private discussion is there.

    My guess is that this is informal leaking.
    What the CNN reporter might have said seems outside the topic of the thread and the question. (No I didn't read the link - the question in the OP - about secret versus private - didn't seem to need it.)
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    What the CNN reporter might have said seems outside the topic of the thread and the question. (No I didn't read the link - the question in the OP - about secret versus private - didn't seem to need it.)
    But that content is exactly what strongly reinforces my suspicion of "how did you know" that directly links to the question about the title.
     

    jaker93139

    New Member
    American English
    So I think private versus secret all depends on the context. But in this case a council meeting privately would imply that no one outside the council was allowed in. A council meeting secretly would imply that no one was supposed to know the council met. You can have a private meeting that is not secret because people know it is happening they just aren't invited in.

    In another context, I could host a private party at a restaurant and have a giant sign outside that says: "Jake is Awesome Party happening here. Private Party - only those on the invite list allowed in." This party would be private but would not be secret. I could also have a party in a cave in the woods that people don't normally go to and I only told 30 people about it and told them to not tell / invite anyone else. This could be considered a secret party.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    But that content is exactly what strongly reinforces my suspicion of "how did you know" that directly links to the question about the title.
    The question was about the linguistic difference between secret and private, not how any information got out. Jaker has given you a "nuance" between the two, but in reality, the UN security council having a meeting that nobody else knew about (i.e., a "secret" one ) is not very plausible, and the headline used private appropriately .You are the one that brought in the concept of "secret", not them. We knew, probably, as you suspected, because reporters and everyone else was told to stay out. That's what made it "private" not "secret".

    It's good to keep the threads on topic and not meander into general discusssion of other aspects of the news item not covered in the OP :)
     
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