Take a collective breath

Posted by R. Berg on July 04, 2007

In Reply to: Take a collective breath posted by Kashima on July 04, 2007

: What does "take a collective breath" mean as in the following context?

: A director shouts to everyone in the set just when an actor is about to do a difficult stunt , "Okay , let's all take a collective breath!"

: I found the phrase "hold a collective breath" in the dictionary, but are they the same? Thank you in advance.

Telling the onlookers to hold their breath would have fit the situation better. Inhale when the actor begins the risky move; worry about his or her safety until it's over; then exhale (relax). In this context, "collective" just means "in unison." I think the director meant for people to hold their breaths and didn't speak precisely. ~rb