Talk:Audience (meeting)

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You use the wording:

An Audience is a formal meeting that takes place between a head of state and another person at the invitation of the head of state. Often the invitation follows a request for a meeting from the other person.

I ought of course trust you, as an native English speaker, but I wonder if you wouldn't better use the term "ruler" instead of "head of state"?


My background for this enquire is of course continental. :-)

I know, or I believe I know, that in some other languages (French, German, Danish/Swedish) you don't have to be specifically Head of State to receive petitioners in audience. The central aspect is that as a ruler you are expected to hear petitions from the ruled, for instance complains over verdicts in judicial courts and over the administration of the ruler's representatives. I would therefore suggest that judges and governors in principle also can be visited in a formal audience, and I am pretty sure that you in prose on Germanic languages can find the word used also in connection with ruling dukes, etc, regardless of if they are head-of-state or just plain vassals. I wonder how a translator to English would handle that. My bet is that the translator would use the word audience also in English, but now I'm on really thin ice.

Another thing is that I was under the impression that in Britain peers are or were granted a right to meet the monarch in audience, why I actually also question your phrase "at the invitation of the head of state".

I would rather propose something like:

An audience is a formal interview where a ruler in person receives the views or complaints from ruled subjects or representatives for other rulers.

alternatively:

An audience is a formal interview where a ruler in person receives the views, proposals or complaints from ruled subjects. Similarly it means the ceremony of admission of ambassadors and envoys for an interview with a sovereign, or an important official of the sovereign, to present their credentials.

and further:

Though sometimes used in republics to describe meetings with presidents, the term Audience is more usually associated with monarchs and popes. In France and Spain judicial complaints are heard by high judges representing the monarch, why the term additionally is connected with the highest court of appeal.

-- Ruhrjung 07:20, 8 Aug 2003 (UTC)

No. You are talking about something completely different to what this page is about.

1. An Audience is not about receiving petitions. Petitions may be received in an Audience but that is a different matter that belongs under a different definition dealing with petitions. Audiences are simply meetings, nothing more. And as few heads of state are rulers anymore, ancient traditions on petitions rarely exist anymore. However a separate page on the historical concept of rulers receiving petitions would be a very good idea. It could then be linked here. Given the complexity of the issue, and that it does not necessarily involve heads of state, it would be more sensible to have that in a separate page rather than here, where we are simply talking about heads of state.

2. Audiences are granted by a head of state. They are not anyone's automatic right. Some heads of state automatically grant requests. Some monarchs automatically grant Audiences to any citizen who wants to meet them. Some automatically grant audiences to Peers of the Realm, etc. But it is still a grant, not a right.

3. Regarding 'rulers' for 'head of state'. Monarchs in constitutional monarchies are not rulers. Neither are the vast majority of presidents. The only words that describes a head of state in any jurisdiction is head of state. No other term is accurate. FearÉIREANN 17:21, 8 Aug 2003 (UTC)

One can't always get the answers one expected.
It doesn't seem as I can present convincing support for my view.
I rest my case, as I believe they use to say on TV in similar situations. :)
-- Ruhrjung 06:54, 9 Aug 2003 (UTC)


Can we have a better disambiguating term? For a while I thought that there was a head of some state named Audience. I think "Audience with a head of state (or ruler)" or "Audience (politics)" might be better. --seav 07:45, Aug 8, 2003 (UTC)

There is no other potential disambigulation term that is workable. The rule is to use the term not a sentence if it only consists of one word, and Audience only consists of one word. And if as in this case it is necessary to disambigulate, say what is its characteristic is in the disambigulation. This exclusively concerns heads of state, so head of state is the necessary and obvious disambigulation term. It is the standard wiki usage. Politics is a non-starter; most heads of state are non-political and many of the people they meet are not politicians. If you were to disambigulate using that, you would have to put in politics, religion, military, public, state, etc the person in the Audience may be from any one of those categories or another fifty ones. Audience (head of state) is the standard usage that makes clear the issue being discussed is an Audience, and it is its meaning as regards heads of state that is being discussed. FearÉIREANN 17:21, 8 Aug 2003 (UTC)
According to your example of "politics, religion, military, public, state, etc", then it should be "head of state, military officer, religious head, etc." I don't see how "head of state" encompasses all the other situations. Here are definitions from online dictionaries for this word:
  • A formal hearing, as with a religious or state dignitary.
  • A conference (usually with someone important)
  • Admittance to a hearing; a formal interview, esp. with a sovereign or the head of a government, for conference or the transaction of business.
If politics is unacceptable then maybe dialogue or interview or conference (as in a press conference). I just don't agree with head of state. --seav 17:45, Aug 8, 2003 (UTC)