I find the content of this morning’s editorial in The Australian absurd; the writer argues in support of Kevin Rudd talking to the pope that:
Religion has also served the nation well, especially in education and health services, and continues to do so. Whatever the different interpretations, the ideals of personal responsibility, a good work ethic, and treating others as as we would like to be treated ourselves, are inherent to most religions. They make solid values on which to bring up children and build communities and a nation.
Whatever. Good protestant ideals I suppose. Shame if you’re not white, male, middle-class, able-bodied and straight. As any first-year ethics student can point out, the childish command to treat others as you would like to be treated yourself is just not such a good ideal when it comes to recognising and accommodating difference. Or trivially, sado-masochists.
However what fascinates me is the heading on the editorial.
I thought the term for the social realm of public discourse and activity was “the public sphere.”
an area in social life where people can get together and freely discuss and identify societal problems, and through that discussion influence political action.
The latter is a square in Cleveland, Ohio, and also a mall in Watertown, New York.
Is this an eggcorn perpetrated by a not so well-lettered subbie.?
Possibly. Though the term is repeated in the editorial itself, suggesting that the editorial writer is not so learned either. Or perhaps the subbie got to the editorial too.