Make a decision. If not exactly a one-off, this is a novelty item. A 1989 William Safire New York Times column notes its appearance and interestingly comments on the British preference for this verb in such phrases as take your point and take lunch. (Less persuasively, he connects this to the Hollywood-ism take a meeting. I am more convinced by the traditional explanation that this stems from the Yiddish-derived take a haircut or take a steambath.) But Google Ngram suggests that even in Britain, make a decision started to surpass take a decision in about 1925, and today is about nine times more frequently used.
So it was striking to see David Brooks, in his Times column dated March 31, 2011, write, “Obama took this decision [to intervene in Libya], I’m told, fully aware that there was no political upside while there were enormous political risks.”
A 2007 Brooks column shed some light on his choice of this locution, and frequent use of other Britishisms. It began:
Although as a child I had turtles named Disraeli and Gladstone, I was never invited to sip Champagne with the queen until yesterday. Although I’ve been an Anglophile all my life, I was never able to participate in a fawning orgy of Albion worship until the British ambassador’s party for the monarch yesterday afternoon.
It was wonderful.
I got to enjoy many of the features I love about Britain: repressed emotions, overarticulate conversationalists and crustless sandwiches. It reminded me why over the decades so many of my Jewish brethren have gone in for the ”Think Yiddish, Act British” lifestyle — shopping at Ralph Lauren and giving their sons names that seemed quintessentially English: Irving, Sidney, Norman and Milton.