Friday, February 17, 2006

Welcome To My Lesson

I came across this quote today in F1 Racing magazine:

The team... worked through a general engine, ancillaries and tyre development regime.

I was surprised, after a little digging, that this is a proper usage. My own feeling was that the writer really wanted the word


reg·i·men (rĕj'ə-mən, -mĕn')
  1. Governmental rule or control.
  2. The systematic procedure of a natural phenomenon or process.
  3. --A) A regulated system, as of diet, therapy, or exercise, intended to promote health or achieve another beneficial effect. --B) A course of intense physical training.
[Middle English, from Latin.]

Regime, by contrast, sounds to me like a military government; but there it is, #4.

re·gime also ré·gime (rā-zhēm', rĭ-)
  1. --A) A form of government: a fascist regime --B) A government in power; administration: suffered under the new regime.
  2. A prevailing social system or pattern.
  3. The period during which a particular administration or system prevails.
  4. A regulated system, as of diet and exercise; a regimen.
[French régime, from Old French, from Latin regimen, from regere, to rule.]

And of course, neither of these terms should be confused with


reg·i·ment (rĕj'ə-mənt)
  1. A military unit of ground troops consisting of at least two battalions, usually commanded by a colonel.
  2. A large group of people.
Though the verb form ties the three terms together.

tr.v., -ment·ed, -ment·ing, -ments. (rĕj'ə-mĕnt')
  1. To form into a regiment.
  2. To put into systematic order; systematize.
  3. To subject to uniformity and rigid order.
[Middle English, government, rule, from Old French, from Late Latin regimentum, rule, from Latin regere, to rule.]

So this was all a valuable lesson for me, even if it only taught me that I compartmentalized things that are perfectly fine to mingle. Surely I should be old enough now that I don't have to learn any more!, /regimen, /regiment.