The Economist ran a fascinating (and popular) poll of British readers, asking which "Americanisms" they use. Many, it turns out, have taken to saying "apartment" instead of "flat" and "sidewalk" instead of "pavement." So let's flip it around: Which dreadful Americanisms would you trade for something from the mother country?
Vacation → Holiday
If you think about it, the word "vacation," derived from "vacate," sounds like something unpleasant your body might do involuntarily in a moment of panic or systems decay. Or maybe something your landlord might impose when you fail to pay your rent. "Holiday," in contrast, conjures cheerful images of decorations and warm togetherness (partly because we in America have abused the term into becoming an abbreviation for "national holiday"). If vacations became holidays, maybe Americans would finally start taking more of them, like the longer living French.
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