at your peril/risk

redgiant

Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
I' have watched a news report about a potential surge of workers taking sickies for watching World Cup games. And a guy says workers should take sickies at their peril because employers are within the right to sacks them.

I would like to know if it is correct to use "at your risk" instead of "at your peril". Is there any difference between "risk" and "peril"? Thanks~
 
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  • panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I need to think more about the difference between risk and peril, but to begin with, I think the phrase in this example should be "at your peril".
    The example sentence is a bit odd. The guy probably didn't say "workers should take" or "at your peril". Here's what I think is a more natural version.
    ... workers take sickies at their peril because employers are within their rights to sack them.
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    I need to think more about the difference between risk and peril, but to begin with, I think the phrase in this example should be "at your peril".
    The example sentence is a bit odd. The guy probably didn't say "workers should take" or "at your peril". Here's what I think is a more natural version.
    ... workers take sickies at their peril because employers are within their rights to sack them.
    You are right. It should be "at their peril".
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I've looked at definitions of peril and risk, and I'm not any clearer about why peril might be used in the example sentence, but not risk. It may simply be a matter of the expected collocation.
    To do something "at your peril" suggests that something really bad may happen to you if you do it.
    To do something "at your own risk" suggests that it may have unfortunate consequences, but more importantly that if it does then no one but you can be held responsible.

    I've thought of an example that may help.

    Supposing that there are parts of the city where car theft is particularly common. You park your car there at your peril.

    In any car park, there are disclaimers stating that the operator of the car park is not responsible for vehicles parked there.
    You park your car there at your own risk.
     
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