[Ads-l] Usage question

Michael Everson everson at EVERTYPE.COM
Sat May 23 14:04:58 UTC 2015

From a book written in 1925:

"However, she said nothing about it, and presently her thoughts went racing off on another tack."

A 20-year-old friend said to me that he saw “tack” as a typo for “track”. Now, I know the metaphor “to change tack” has nautical origins, and I had supposed that the sentence above was participating in that metaphor. 

Has “to change track” replaced (or is it in the process of replacing) “to change tack”? Is the use of “tack” vis à vis “track” in the sentence above unusual?

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com/

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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