"opinion" in english and french took over the uncomplicated meaning of the latin opinio: opinion; of the uncertain, not fully demonstrated judgment. technical philosophical language, from plato's doxa to hegel's meinen, here corresponded exactly to the term's meaning in everyday language. however, in our context the second meaning of opinion is more important, namely: 'reputation"; regard: what one represents in the opinion of others. "opinion" in the sense of a judgment that lacks certainty, whose truth would still have to be proven, is associated with "opinion" in the sense of a basically suspicious repute among the multitude. thus, the word carries such a pronounced connotation of collective opinion that all attributes referring to its social character can be dispensed with as pleonastic.'
'"Opinion," of course, did not evolve straightforwardly into "public opinion," opinion publique, that late eighteenth-century coinage that would refer to the critical reflections of a public competent to form its own judgements. both of the original meanings--the mere opinion and the reputation that emerged in the mirror of opinions--were antithetical to the kind of rationality claimed by the public opinion and truth, reason, and judgement was not as sharp as the french antithesis, firmly established during the seventeenth century, between opinion and critique.'