Rex W. Stocklin stocklin at EARTHLINK.NET
Fri Apr 1 05:20:39 UTC 2005

At 5:58 PM -0800 3/31/05, Jonathan Lighter wrote:

>Not at all - it's absolutely true.  "Flak" means exploding shells
>from antiaircraft artillery(something of a quaint notion in the
>missile era).
>But "flak vest / jacket" as worn by ground troops reasonably allows
>for the idea that it merely means shrapnel, bullets, etc.
>This is the sort of semantic broadening which is utterly abhorrent
>to geezerly types like yours truly, but must seem absolutely
>inconsequential to any nonspecialist born after 1970 or even 1960.

Gee, I think as long as they get worn, and they do the job, that's a
blessing. Any extrapolation from a pure airborne projectile origin
doesn't SEEM to be a slight to keepers of the language arts. I mean
when you get right down to it, all ammo is airborne at sometime
(usually the precise time the wearer thanks his lucky stars for the
flak jacket). Words in a heated exchange are often characterized as
"flying", thus the concept of "catching flak".

Now, being a nonspecialist (however, born in '56), I realize that I'm
in over my verbal head. But I just cannot see what all the fuss is
here, when there are some serious verbal crimes being committed every

I 'spose I'm prepared to catch some flak over this.

Getting he lead out...
Lexy Rexy
Fishers, IN

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