Long time ago once in English class the teacher asked the class who can differentiate between two words having the same sound and made the sound “Braik”. I at once raised my hand to answer the question to the surprise of the class because I was known for raising problems and my voice during arguments and not my hand to answer any question.  When I was asked to give the answer I named the two words as leg break and off break two types of bowling in the game of cricket. My teacher was not impressed and told the class that the two words were “Break and Brake” and then went on to explain their meaning. Having once threatened by my elder brother that he would break my hand if I used his newly bought pen I easily understood the meaning of break. It was a little later that I came in contact with its name- sake, brake while trying unsuccessfully to ride a bicycle and falling down. I was told about the function of brake at that time. But, I never was able to use it because its function being to slow or stop the bicycle, I never reached that stage. The farthest I could go was sitting on its seat while in the vicinity of a wall and moving it forward and backward by using its pedal and my right hand taking the support of the wall.

NewsbreakComing to another break, the title of the post, I knew the words heartbreak, jailbreak, daybreak and housebreak. It was many years later that I came to know of the word “Newsbreak” while watching CNN in Hartford Connecticut in 1980’s in USA where I happened to be attending a training program. I was confused because to me the meaning of break was to fragment, shatter, smash in to pieces while there was no such thing happening in newsbreak. It was simply a short news announcement.

Make and break are the two extreme situations. Men(women too), events and situations may make news while TV channels now break news. People only hear and see news. I am still at a loss to understand why newsbreak is called newsbreak. We know of heartbreak and jailbreak and in both there is an indication of something breaking. Similarly we also know of breaking the promise or vows, but they all appear to be in the right category of break, but not newsbreak. There is nothing being broken or smashed except may be the attention or concentration of the viewer. Why then it has the word break in its fold.

It is worthwhile to study newsbreak in the back background of journalism. In journalism breaking news refers to events that are currently developing, or “breaking.” Breaking news usually refers to events that are unexpected, such as a plane crash or building fire. Breaking news can also refer to news that occurs late in the day, close to a news outlet’s usual deadline.

As I was writing this article and completed the above paragraph, puzzled by newsbreak I decided to have a break to relax a bit and switched on a sports channel. As I looked on the screen the commentator was announcing that it was lunch break and then transmission shifted to regular programs. The presenter then announced, “You were watching the cricket match. Please stay with us we would come back after a break.” The mystery of newsbreak stood unraveled.



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