What is common knowledge?

Vox populi , or vox populi according to its Castilianization, is an expression of the Latin language that can be translated as “voice of the people”. Speech is used with reference to what everyone knows and repeats.

Something that is common knowledge, therefore, is known to all people. Generalizations, of course, are always imprecise: the idea refers to a certain knowledge shared by most members of a community. Take the case of the president of a country who commented in several newspapers that his favorite food is pizza. Given the magnitude of the data in question and the reiteration of information at different times and places, many inhabitants of the country know that pizza is the president’s favorite food. It can be said, therefore, that these data are common knowledge.

The expression vox populi also often appears together with the phrase vox Dei (which translates as “voice of God”). This is how the concept of vox populi, vox Dei, is formed, which indicates that the “voice of the people” is the “voice of God”. The notion is linked to the power or strength of popular beliefs. If more than 500,000 people participate in a demonstration to reject a government project, some analyst might say that the protest is so big that the leaders are obliged to hear the statement: vox populi (in this case, the march), vox Dei (the impact it causes and forces it to meet the demand). Likewise, we cannot ignore that vox populi is used in many fields at the cultural level. So, for example, we come across the film “Vox Populi”, which premiered in 2008. It is of Dutch origin and directed by Eddy Tersall, as well as starring actors of the stature of Tara Elders, Ton Kas and Johnny de Mol. It is a film that falls into the comedy genre and revolves around the world of politics. He does so through the central character, who is a middle-aged politician who realizes that he is losing his leadership and that, in order to regain it, he carries out all sorts of actions, which many of his supporters do not like. Specifically, we can also add that it is part, together with the films “Simon” (2004) and “SEXtet” (2007), of a trilogy about what contemporary Dutch society is. Furthermore, we cannot forget that “Vox Populi” is also the title of a Spanish periodical. We are referring to the magazine published by the Official Language School of Pamplona every six months. In 1999 it is possible to know the origin of this publication, which has a circulation of approximately 1,500 copies, which is free and has become a true reference of the aforementioned academic institution. In it you can enjoy numerous articles, reports and interviews in several languages.

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