2

More specifically...

What is a term for a problem between sides that has surfaced that one would pretend to have always been submerged yet cannot be ignored?

For example, two sides always had potential and reason for conflict, but this was kept submerged, and purposefully ignored. Now, the conflict has surfaced and none can ignore it, though nobody wishes it were so. Institutional things especially. Imagine for example two government ministers who want to be on the same side but now realize that the conflict between them which they wish could have been ignored has emerged as something unavoidable, and that others can see it as well.

  • Can you give an example? Something tangible? Something psychological? etc.. – Othya Mar 17 '15 at 11:36
  • Anything can be ignored, if you put enough effort into it. (Until it kills you, of course.) – Hot Licks Mar 17 '15 at 12:18
  • @HotLicks To an extent. But if, say, someone keeps kicking you in the shins, you can try to ignore them, you can pretend to ignore them, but you can't just not notice that they're doing it. Also, just because you CAN ignore something doesn't mean that you do. So I think it's fair to talk about things that a person is TRYING to ignore but which is difficult to ignore. – Jay Mar 17 '15 at 13:43
8

Something which is obvious but which people deliberately avoid or try to ignore can be called the elephant in the room.

  • Right, that's not far from the idea, but it's so cliché. But there might not be better as a term. Of course if I knew I wouldn't ask... – Mallory-Erik Mar 17 '15 at 13:20
  • @Mallory-Erik - There is no simple English word for this concept, but there are idioms. Idioms can be cliché, but sometimes that is what is best to communicate your idea clearly and concisely. – Joel Brown Mar 17 '15 at 13:32
1

You could refer to the issue as a Task, Burden, or Necessity. Or could use multiple terms such as saying, "The Mayor saw it as a burden which kept returning to eat up his time, however, the worried citizen knew it was a necessity to maintain the safety and security of their peaceful city."

0

800-pound gorilla in the room: is an idiomatic expression that may describe to what you are referring to:

  • one that is dominating or uncontrollable because of great size or power. (M-W)

  • 800-pound gorilla" is an American English expression for a person or organization so powerful that it can act without regard to the rights of others or the law. (Wikipedia)

(TFD)

  • 1
    How long do you usually hunt before you catch a memory? – Ian MacDonald Mar 17 '15 at 11:38
  • Right, not a memory, but a new untenable social reality that can't be ignored, esp institutional, organizational arrangements. – Mallory-Erik Mar 17 '15 at 12:02
  • For example, two sides always had potential and reason for conflict, but this was kept submerged, and purposefully ignored. Now, the conflict has surfaced and none can ignore it, though nobody wishes it were so. Institutional things especially. Imagine for example two government ministers who want to be on the same side but now realize that the conflict between them which they wish could have been ignored has emerged, and that others can see it as well. – Mallory-Erik Mar 17 '15 at 12:12
  • I think "elephant in the room" is the far more common expression in the US. "800 pound gorilla" is the thing that gets its way, regardless, and is not typically considered to be ignored. Eg, the National Rifle Association in the US is an 800 pound gorilla, while climate change is the elephant in the room. – Hot Licks Mar 17 '15 at 12:20
  • @HotLicks - OP is just referring to something that cannot be ignored. – user66974 Mar 17 '15 at 12:23
0

What's a term for a dispute that's come to an impasse?

precipice [pres-uh-pis] noun -dictionary.com

2. a situation of great peril: "on the precipice of war".


What is a term for something unwanted but which cannot be ignored?

pressure; pres·sure \ˈpre-shər\ noun -MW

5. the stress or urgency of matters demanding attention

I have a 'nagging feeling' that neither of these words is what you're looking for, but we'll just 'keep a lid on that' for the moment. Although they may disagree on many things, both the ministers think their courses of action to be 'necessary evils' but are now 'under pressure' from their constituents because 'the cat's out of the bag'.

-1

inescapable : unable to be avoided or denied.

  • Thank you for your effort. Stack Exchange answers are “right” answers, not ideas, suggestions, or opinions. To make this into an answer and show that it is right, please edit to include explanation, context, and supporting facts. See: “Real questions have answers, not items or ideas or opinions”. – MetaEd Feb 22 at 17:14
  • This actually looks like a good suggestion. However, you will need to add context on why your answer fits the request. In addition, you should cite the source you used for the definition and proper formatting. – Skooba Feb 23 at 13:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.