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Decisions, decisons

Posted by R. Berg on March 26, 2008 at 17:35:

In Reply to: Decisions, decisons posted by Baceseras on March 26, 2008 at 16:48:

: : : : : : : Is decision-taking just as acceptable as decision-making?
: : : : : : :

: : : : : : The former has long been the British preference, and the latter the American, but television has melded them and now each may use either.

: : : : : "Now each may use either": When did that change occur? I missed the announcement. "Decision taking" still sounds foreign to me. ~rb (U.S.)

: : : : I agree. "Decision taking" is rare in the US. UK TV shows are not very commonly watched in the US, mostly segregated to BBC America cable channel (which is usually on the pay-more-than-the-minimum package) and late night PBS. If there's a really good UK show, we just make a horrible re-make of it instead of watching the real thing (e.g. Changing Rooms -> Trading Spaces).

: : : There's a difference between using a phrase yourself and understanding it when used by others. When we hear some Britisher talk about "taking a decision," we don't ask "take it where?" We know what he means, even if we would never say it ourselves.
: : : SS

: : If someone said "Let's phlorf a decision - movies or skating?", you could figure that out too. It doesn't mean that phlorf is part of your vocabulary.

: By "each may use either" I mean that the distinction of the two phrases no longer marks the speaker's national origin. Both British and American speakers have had time to hear one another repeatedly and to pick up the formerly 'foreign' style. Of course, some on either side resist the cross-Atlantlic usage, but many do not, and a few enthusiastically grasp the novelty, while yet more inattentively repeat what they so often hear. The result: this particular phrase divergence is no longer a sure-fire national marker. - Bac.

Baceseras, I'll go along with your modified explanation, but I wonder whether "decision making" has spread to England. Does the cross-Atlantic current ever flow east? ~rb