Brake, not break

Since I bought a new car recently, I’ve been on a couple of car forums a lot. I see a very common mistake there and in many other places: people writing break when they mean brake. The things that stop a vehicle or machine are brakes. The term break and its forms broke and broken refers to something ruined or that has come apart. It also refers to a spell of rest or cessation of activity, like take a break.

Even mainstream companies and advertisers make this mistake, which seems odd and unforgivable to me. Here’s an example I saw recently:

At least she got pedal right. I’ve seen posts about a car’s break petal. I’ve seen posts from people telling me the proper way to break my car. I don’t want to break my car.

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