This is from a documentary film where the narrator talks about putting things in perspective.

If you break that down to how many per day or how many per hour, basically what you are getting is the equivalent of a Boston Marathon bombing every half hour of every day of every week of ever year. So here's the optic. You've got the situation in the Boston Marathon bombing where a number of people died in the explosion. It was a terrible thing... But then meanwhile two days later a fertilizer plant blows up in Texas, killing more people.

It appears the line "Here's the optic" means To put things in perspective, but I can't find a dictionary definition of optic that fits in the context. What does optic mean exactly here? Is this a common usage?


2 Answers 2


The phrase the optics in the plural is often used to mean "how it will seem to the public" or "the facts on the ground from a public relations perspective".

I'm not quite sure what to make of the singular. Perspective, perhaps? Presentation from a particular point of view? Showing two things side by side in order to get a sense of perspective, the underlying metaphor being focal distance.


You are interpreting the phrase correctly. It's not common to say "here's the optic," but in general it just refers to the perspective / seeing / visual synonyms.

For example, you could also interpret "Here's the optic" to mean, "Here's another way of seeing things."

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