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I am wondering what the reading and meaning of 公け is in the following sentence:
彼女のことが公けになることを好まず、ひそかに離縁しようと決心した。

2 Answers 2

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It is pronounced おおやけ (although I've never seen it with け as okurigana -- usually just 公). It means "publicly/openly", similar to 公的 【こうてき】.

That sentence would translate as "Not wanting it to be made publicly known to everyone, He/I decided to break up with her in private."

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The reading is おおやけ. The meaning is 'public'. In this context, the person does not want (the existence of) her / girlfriend to become public.

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    Is there a name or description for the practice of choosing to put more 送り仮名 to specify reading? For example, choosing 勝ち気 instead of 勝気? I notice the tendency is to do this more in newer novels. Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 3:20

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