Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

July 2007

9780195387070

Break – Broke – Broken

Even a quick look at the history of words meaning “break” shows how often they begin with the sound group br-. Break has cognates in several Germanic languages. The main Old Scandinavian verb was different (compare Modern Swedish bryta, Norwegian bryte, and so forth), but it, too, began with br-.

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Shifting Idioms: An Eggcornucopia

In our last instalment, I noted that the increasingly common spelling of minuscule as miniscule is not just your average typographical error; it makes sense in a new way, since the respelling brings the word into line with ‘miniature’, ‘minimum’, and a whole host of tiny terms using the mini prefix.

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