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half-term again

March 23, 2015

I was listening to Chris Evans on Radio 2 just now and he said, “We’re approaching the Easter half-term…”

No. No, we’re not, Chris. We’re approaching the Easter holidays. ‘Half-term’ is a shorter break, usually of a week, which occurs halfway through each of the school terms (the last one was in February). But we are now coming up to the end of term, and then we’ll have the two-week Easter holidays. Just so, we have Christmas holidays and Summer holidays. I have blogged on this mis-use of half-term as referring to all school holidays before; but it’s not going away.

While we’re on the subject of holidays, I also have no patience with people who say ‘Spring break’ or ‘Winter break’ in order to avoid uttering the names ‘Easter’ and ‘Christmas’, from a hyper-sensitive fear of offending those who don’t share those faiths. I just don’t believe that any atheist, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Zoroastrian or whatever is offended by the names of Christian festivals. Why would they be? I’m not a Hindu but I don’t feel the smallest prickle of offence when I hear the word ‘Diwali’.

And the names of the holiday periods do reflect the Christian history of this country, after all, even if the majority of us are no longer Christians. In the same way, the days of the week reflect ancient beliefs in Norse gods, and I like that.

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One Comment
  1. Angela Thomas permalink

    Yes Yes yes! Thank you so much – I thought I was the only person who noticed this (and got irrationally wound up by it) but I am so very glad not to be alone! Must admit I have been google-stalking after watching the latest (90s) episode of Back in Time for Dinner – we have thoroughly enjoyed it, thank you!

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