Friday, April 29, 2011

"Semana Santa"/"Holy Week" Comment

A cross at a school in Palmares, Costa Rica.
After hearing a few comments on Facebook about the Common Error post about Semana Santa, I just wanted to mention a thing or two.

First of all, I didn't say that the phrase "Holy Week" is not used in English; I just said that it's not common. I still believe that, at least in mast cases. It is used sometimes in religious contexts, as a few readers pointed out. The main thing I was trying to differentiate between was Semana Santa as it's understood and practiced in Latin America, and "Spring Break" and "Holy Week" as they're practiced in English-speaking countries.

For example, if you go to a church in the U.S.A., it may certainly refer to the week before Easter as "Holy Week." However, that doesn't mean that there's a week-long holiday from work and school connected to that week. That's very rare, at least in the U.S., but it seems to be the norm in Latin America. Additionally, "Spring Break" is a week-long holiday from most schools, but rarely from work. So, the main thing I was trying to clear up was the confusion that I had noticed in some of my classes. Until I mentioned it in class, most of my student hadn't even heard the word "Easter," for example, and that word seems to get closer to the mark than "Holy Week."

So, that's it for the moment. If you have any comments or if you disagree with this, I'd love to hear from you.

Oh, by the way, as you probably figured out, we were on break here in Costa Rica last week, and this week I've been catching up with work and other things, so I didn't do a blog post for "Mistake Monday" or "Trouble Tuesday." There will be one next week, though, so please check back then!

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

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-Ryan