Monday, March 26, 2012

Breaking Away (to) break away (from)

One of my favorite of all time movies was a 1979 film called "Breaking Away". It was about a group of teenage boys who discover a love for bicycle racing. The term "breaking away" has reference to sports and also to the boys' social lives, as each one has to break away from the expectations of the surrounding world to live a life right for him.

You can view the trailer of this movie by following this link.

This verb "(to) break away" can be used thus in a variety of contexts, from sports to politics to sociology. 

Let's look at how it's used in the news headlines.

As Romney breaks away from the pack, Rick Santorum hopes for an upset

Here's another one:

Presbyterian group breaks away over gay clergy

What is this group breaking away from, and why?

And here is a third headline:

Nigeria breaks away from African Union at its own risk

Why does Nigeria want to break away from the African Union? What could be the consequences of this?

See how many contexts you can find this word used.  In each case, what is the individual or group or object breaking away from, why, and what might be some consequences of this?


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