From the book Can You Say a Few Words?

If you have trouble expressing this sentiment without gagging, rehearse it a few times in the privacy of your bedroom.

I don't understand the difference between the sentence above and the one below.

... rehearse it a few times in your bedroom.

I googled it but didn't find any definitions or explanations.

  • You don't need to google the phrase. You just need to know what "privacy" is. (The concept of being "in" privacy is somewhat figurative but nonetheless clear.) – user378171 Aug 1 '20 at 22:36
  • There is no "metaphor" in the phrase "in privacy". – Michael Harvey Aug 1 '20 at 23:42
  • @user378171 Thank you. I guess the use of metaphor is the block that stands in my way to understand the meaning of the whole sentence. Would you please explain a little more about how does that sentence use "in privacy" figuratively? – JakeMZ Aug 2 '20 at 3:24
  • 1
    It doesn't use the phrase "In privacy" figuratively. It uses the phrase literally. If you are in a place which is out of the sight or hearing of others, e.g. a toilet, changing room, other kind of room, house, etc, you are in the privacy of that place. – Michael Harvey Aug 2 '20 at 10:39

"In the privacy of" is a set phrase that is used to emphasize that somewhere is private. It is often used in the context of discussing things that might be illegal, inappropriate or embarrassing to do in public.

You can wear what you want in the privacy of your own home, but you should put on clothes before going outside.

It's fine to sing along to music in the privacy of your car, but it's rude to do so on the bus.

In the context of your excerpt, it seems that the writer is trying to emphasize that practicing without an audience may make the speaker more comfortable. It's not really about the specific location of the bedroom, which is why deleting "the privacy of" changes the meaning.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.