In UK is there a difference in the meanings of cosmpolitan and multicultural, as there is an ad on Classic FM for Abu Dhabi promoting it as ?

cosmpolitan, which sounds Western and sophisticated, jand I thought if it used the term 'multicultural', British listeners would view this as meaning multi-Muslim cultures due to its location

1 Answer

  • 8 months ago

    There's a difference in CONNOTATION, rather than in definition.  They both are defined as arising from the presence of many widely-differing experiences and worldviews.  But...

    "Multicultural" is used most often to describe a society or social setting in which differences between cultures are not permitted to cause disruption.

    "Cosmopolitan" is used most often to describe a business, academic, government, or creative (arts) environment where differences between cultures and experiences ENHANCE the activities and results achieved.  It can also describe the same for a purely social setting.

    That's not to say what, exactly, the authors of the Classic FM ad had in mind, since these are connotations rather than definitions.  You can see that "multicultural" connotes safety and tolerance (so it is not necessarily about co-existence of several different Middle Eastern cultures, no matter what Brits might be pre-disposed to think.  It could just as easily be about co-existence of Europeans and non-Europeans) while "cosmopolitan" connotes an enhanced level of performance (which one might expect in an advert).

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