Storms are breaking

Geoffrey Nathan geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU
Mon Sep 14 19:26:05 UTC 2009

CNN is quoting the President this afternoon as saying:

'We can be confident that the storms of the past two years are beginning to break.'

That struck me as odd, since that's not what I think he meant,
so I looked it up in the Cobuild Dictionary Online, where it says

verb 'If the weather breaks or a storm breaks , it suddenly becomes rainy or stormy after a period of sunshine.
I've been waiting for the weather to break...' V

so, is 'the storm is breaking' one of those auto-antonyms?  Or did Obama's speechwriter goof?


Geoffrey S. Nathan
Faculty Liaison, C&IT
and Associate Professor, Linguistics Program
+1 (313) 577-1259 (C&IT)
+1 (313) 577-8621 (English/Linguistics)

The American Dialect Society -

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