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"Agenda" <vs> "ulterior motive" Options
JessiWan
Posted: Monday, April 19, 2021 6:30:19 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 4/16/2021
Posts: 20
Neurons: 64
Hello. I think that these two terms, "agenda" and "ulterior motive", are very similar, right? Just wondering if there is any difference or if they are completely interchangeable.

Context: Mark puts his cards on the table. He has no agenda.

Context 2: Mary is not usually the type to help people out financially. So when she said she would loan me the money, I thought that she must have some ulterior motives for doing so.

Thanks.
FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 12:25:29 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 15,996
Neurons: 76,374
JessiWan wrote:
Hello. I think that these two terms, "agenda" and "ulterior motive", are very similar, right? Just wondering if there is any difference or if they are completely interchangeable.

Context: Mark puts his cards on the table. He has no agenda.

Context 2: Mary is not usually the type to help people out financially. So when she said she would loan me the money, I thought that she must have some ulterior motives for doing so.

Thanks.


An "ulterior motive" is commonly understood to mean something hidden, or deceptive. "Agenda" can also have this meaning, but the remainder of the sentence has to make that usage clear (usually said as a "hidden agenda"). Without that, "agenda" is simply a list of things to address, or accomplish, usually in a meeting.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2021 6:15:14 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 35,277
Neurons: 241,541
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Yes - it's the same in Britain, and "non-American" English.

"Agenda" is simply the plan or program of various things which will happen in a period of time. A meeting in business usually has an agenda."In this meeting we'll be discussing the reorganisation of the Finance Department and the new contracts expected in the next three months." That is the agenda - if anyone wants to discuss something else, they need to ask the Chair to add it at the end, if there's time.

An "ulterior motive" is sometimes called a "hidden agenda" - the person has a plan (for his/her own benefit) which they havent told the other people involved.

In casual speech, some people just say "He has an agenda."

As has been said - "Everyone has an agenda - whether he or she is honest about it or not."
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