Them's the Breaks: Mercedes concept name razes I browseWed, 21 Apr 2010
Yes, yes, we know. The Mercedes-Benz use of the term “Shooting Break” as the name for its latest concept vehicle is, well, it's just so wrong. The traditional, and most people would say correct, spelling is “shooting brake.”
As AW's copy chief, I take this sort of thing very much to heart and felt moved to respond to the yowling of readers on our Web site.
Here is what the non-native-English-speaking German automaker's press release says about the car's name:
“Break, or the homonym Brake, was the name once given to carriages used to ‘break' in wild horses and also to restrict (or ‘brake') their urge to move, so that they could be put to use as work horses. Since the carts could easily be broken as part of this process, people tended not to use ones which they may have urgently needed for other purposes. Where necessary, ‘Brakes' were often fitted out with variable bodies, which were only really used to carry along anything that may have been necessary for the hunt, for example. Any such vehicle which was used when going out shooting was called a Shooting Brake or Shooting Break. In the 1960s and 1970s, motorized Shooting Breaks were popular in Great Britain--exclusive crossover vehicles, which combined the luxuriousness of a coup
By Wendy Warren Keebler