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  1. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Are these two words Redundant?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Cacian, Nov 17, 2011.

    Private and Confidential?


    because confidential as far as I understand it comes from confiding in someone.
    and
    private means unique to the individual.
     
  2. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    You've got that round the wrong way, sort of.

    If a document is private, it means it's not public. It's at a person's own discretion who gets the knowledge. My medical knowledge is private. I can tell you about it, but that doesn't make it public. It's still private. So it is unique to an individual, but it can be shared.
    If a document is confidential, it's somewhat stricter than just being private. It's not to be shared at all.

    So, no, putting a "Private and Confidential" stamp on a document, for example, is not redundant. It's just a stricter set of conditions for reading.
     
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  3. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Well, he covered everything I was going to say. So ditto on all of that.
     
  4. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    I am still unsure about it.
    confinding in someone is not private.
    private means to yourelf only.
     
  5. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Private, to me, means the person the information belongs to decides who will see it (if anyone), and those people are not to share with anyone else without the owner's permission. Confidential means that only authorized people should see it, and that authorization is based on some protocol (e.g., a lawyer's files, personal tax information, government security information, etc)
     
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    When something is confidential it is usually a document or some kind of information that cannot be shared with the general public. Be it something military or from a corporation etc.

    Something private is usually some kind of personal information you do not generally want people to know about. Like your bank account number or family life etc.

    To confide in someone is to share a secret, or expressing feelings on something personal. It is usually something friends do with each other. Because it takes a lot of trust to confide in someone.
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    To me, a major difference between the two is this: I can tell you something privately, which means nobody else hears it, but you can do whatever you want with the information, including telling others at your discretion. But if I tell you something confidentially, then not only does nobody else hear it, but I am specifically asking you not to tell anybody else.

    For example, if you and me and Fred are going out for dinner, I might take you aside and privately tell you that Fred is recovering from a stroke, so don't make comments about how he sounds like he's drunk. That information isn't secret in any way, but I'm saying it privately so as not to embarrass Fred. On the other hand, if I'm a CIA officer and I give you confidential information about a planned spy mission, I'm insisting that you DON'T TELL ANYONE. The information IS secret.
     
  8. SamanthaM.
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    It would probably depend on how you are using these words in context. By definition they are not redundant, however used too close together or in the same manner might make them seem redundant.
     
  9. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    They mean different things, with some overlap. In the proper sense of the word, using both is redundant: reduntant doesn't need to mean that the words have the same meaning, it also applies when you're using unnecessary elaborations, which is what I would say in this case. In other words, you should generally use one or the other, and not both.

    In general (though this may vary), corporate and government information is confidential, personal information is private.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto all of the explanations above...

    don't fight it, cacian... the adjective 'confidential' is not akin to the verb 'confide' despite the similarity of the former's first two syllables...
     
  11. shellyshakespear
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    shellyshakespear New Member

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    When you use in one sentence might be since those two are synonymous word.
     
  12. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    lol....mammamaia...I am not going to fight it but more debating it because it is not going to go away :p and thank you all for the indepth explanations I do appreciate every position highlighted.
    what I mean by redundant is that one cancels the other because they are two perfect opposite to each other.
    I think words are personal to us and so is private and to put confidential next to it deos not make sens to me(only to me ) because once you have told/informed someone ''privately'' it does not or will not guarantee that the person you have told in confidence won't tell go and tell someone else. it could by mistake even.
    here is an example:
    a couple live together. a letter arrived through the post stamped Private and Confidential addressed to one of the couple.
    she finds the letter and hands it to him as it is addressed to him, he opens it and reads it.
    few minutes later she asks him what the letter says and so he tells her.
    ''private and confidential' therefore no longer applies.
     
  13. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Except that's not what redundant means. Redundancy, in semantics, is when two words are used in conjunction with each other, but mean the same thing. One word out of two is made redundant because only one of them is necessary.
    I don't mean to be rude, but I think it's necessary under the circumstances; buy a dictionary, take some literacy lessons, and then ask questions about the things you're still unsure about. And make sure that you understand the words being used to voice your question.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that's not a redundancy, it's an 'oxymoron'... such as in 'jumbo shrimp'... 'private and confidential' don't fit that description, as they're not opposites, don't 'cancel' each other out... they are just a bit 'different'...

    and yes, as noted above, you do really need to look up the words you use, before you start a discussion on them, since you don't seem to have a good grasp of english word meanings...
     

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