Take a collective breath

Posted by R. Berg on July 04, 2007

In Reply to: Take a collective breath posted by R. Berg 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 was asking people to hold their breath and wasn't speaking precisely. ~rb