Chris Jeggo wrote:
kylecycler wrote:Does anyone else find the word 'sabbatical' ridiculously pretentious? In Scotland we call it a 'brek', as in 'tak a brek'...
The word 'sabbatical' has a precise meaning - a year off taken every seven years
. It is often used slightly imprecisely, acceptably, but when it used completely imprecisely, as 'brek', it is of course pretentious.
Using 'epicentre' as a synonym for 'centre' is likewise pretentious. 'Epicentre' has a precise technical meaning pertaining to earthquakes, and to little else, so far as I know.
That's interesting. According to Wiki it's related to agriculture: "Jews in the Land of Israel must take a year-long break from working the fields every seven years."
I guess there must be some connection, language-wise, to 'sabbath' - one day out of seven.
The first time I ever saw the word sabbatical was when the racing driver Alain Prost was sacked by Ferrari in 1991; he then took a year out in 1992, referred to in the motor sport press as a 'sabbatical'. It sounded just as pretentious then as it does now, but I suppose they were trying to stress that he wasn't retiring, just taking (at least) a year out. It's kind of hard to think of an alternative word, tbh - any ideas?
Prost came back in 1993 to drive for Williams and waltzed the World Championship in a car far superior to the opposition, much to the chagrin of his arch-rival Ayrton Senna, who felt that was his
divine right. Prost retired for good at the end of '93, Senna took his place at Williams for '94 but was killed at Imola. Without Prost's 'sabbatical', history would have followed a different course and Senna might well be alive today.