Question: I am a bit confused about terminology. Should it be ‘focus group’ or ‘focused group’? For example, if I am writing the sentence, ‘The chairman is thinking of setting up focus/focused group meetings to collect stakeholders’ views’, should I use focus or focused? Or it doesn’t matter? Thanks! —
Response: Hi —! Although it seems to make perfect sense that one would refer to a group of people focused on a particular topic as a “focused group,” I have only ever heard it said “focus group.”
When I checked online for instances of the word “focused group,” I found a few, but they all seemed to be referring just to focused people, for example, a group of focused scientists working. “Focus group” on the other hand, generated single dictionary entries meaning roughly what you were talking about as far as collecting people’s views on things. Based on some cursory linguistics knowledge, I can tell you that it means that unlike “focused group” which is an adjective (focused) describing a noun (group), “focus group,” as a whole, is functioning as one distinct noun.
I hope this helps. I probably could have just said, “focus group,” but words are so strange, and interesting!
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