I'm in Oxford for one of the events commemorating the 80th anniversary of the release of the Oxford English Dictionary, and one of the things that I've learned is an amusing anecdote about the work's title.
The first fascicle of the OED, published in 1884, contains two versions of the title. The first page, printed in 1880, calls it "a new dictionary on a historical basis"; but the title page, printed after the rest of the first fascicle was done, calls it a dictionary "on historical principles".
Apparently the reason for the change was an argument about which form of the indefinite article to use with the following word "historical": a or an. This argument pitted James Murray, the editor, against Benjamin Jowett, Master of Balliol College and as of 1882, vice-chancellor of the university. The pronunciation of his name, and some sense of his character, can be determined from a rhyme that Wikipedia quotes in two versions:
First come I. My name is Jowett.
There's no knowledge but I know it.
I am the Master of this College,
What I don't know isn't knowledge.
My name is Benjamin Jowett,
I'm Master of Balliol College;
Whatever is knowledge I know it,
And what I don't know isn't knowledge.
The article also cites a couple of Jowett's witticisms: "What time he can spare from the adornment of his person, he devotes to the neglect of his studies", and "Even the youngest among us is not infallible".
From this we can guess why Murray might have decided to compromise his principles.