usingtherightwords

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Did I Just Take a “Trip,” “Vacation” or “Holiday?”


I’m back from Las Vegas — poorer but more relaxed. So, how would I describe my jaunt to the light pollution capital of the world?

It obviously was a trip. One of that word’s many definitions is “to make a journey.”

But was it also a vacation? And what about the oh-so-British holiday?

As always, I checked the dictionary. The fourth definition of vacation read, “a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation.” But my dictionary did not list vacation and trip as synonyms. It wasn’t until deep in the second page of thesaurus.com — the 15th entry — that I found trip as a synonym for vacation. I never did find vacation listed as a synonym for trip after 50 entries. So, I’m not sure saying I took a vacation is correct.

My stepsister lives in England, so when she comes to visit, she’s on holiday. Out of curiosity, I checked my American dictionary and found as the third definition “chiefly Brit. a period of relaxation; vacation.”

So, if any non-Brit says to me, “I’m on holiday,” I’ll understand. I’ll be confused by the lack of appropriate accent, but I’ll know you mean you’re on vacation.

Until next time! Use the right words!

leebarnathan.com

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December 27, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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