Words I don't like 4: mini-project

I can't stand the term 'mini'-project. Why the prefix 'mini'? The project might be small in scale, but why call it a mini-project? 'Mini-project' only seems to occur in the context of learning and teaching; nobody gets mini-project funding from a research council or a prestigious funding organisation. Most of all 'mini-project'  implies the project is not particularly important and therefore can be put to the bottom of any priority list.

 

Nerdy note: I mentioned my dislike of 'mini' to the philosopher George MacDonald Ross a few years back. He pointed out that 'mini' comes from miniature, but miniature does not mean small. According to the OED miniature dates from the 1300s and comes from the Italian miniatura, the  small brightly coloured images used to decorate books, manuscripts, etc. Miniature, in the sense of small portrait dates from the 1500s. They are miniatures not because they are small, but because they  resembled the aforementioned miniatura. The prefix mini- and miniature to describe a small version of something only dates from the 1930s.

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