[Ads-l] "fracking"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Aug 9 20:27:10 EDT 2020


> On Aug 9, 2020, at 7:53 PM, Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> And yet, "mike" for microphone has become "mic".
> 
> On Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 5:23 PM Mark Mandel <markamandel at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>> The word didn't originate with activists but within the industry, which the
>> discussion doesn't mention until the 20th paragraph:
>>>>>>> 
>> The drilling industry has generally spelled the word without a "K," using
>> terms like "frac job" or "frac fluid."
>> <<<<<
>> 
>> But the spelling "frack" is not novel. Again from the article:
>>>>>>> 
>> The spelling of "fracking" began appearing in the media and in oil and
>> gas company
>> materials long before the process became controversial. It first was used
>> in an Associated Press story in 1981. That same year, an oil and gas
>> company called Velvet Exploration, based in British Columbia, issued a
>> press
>> release that detailed its plans to complete "fracking" a well.
>> 
>> The word was used in trade journals throughout the 1980s. In 1990, Commerce
>> Secretary Robert Mosbacher announced U.S. oil engineers would travel to the
>> Soviet Union to share drilling technology, including fracking.
>> <<<<<
>> 
>> The addition of "k" was probably prompted by the rarity of non-Latinate
>> English monosyllables ending in vowel+"c" – as opposed to " crack, back,
>> lack, sack, Jack" and a myriad more –  combined with the awkwardness of
>> "fraccing" as well as "fracced". Its spread in the protest movement,
>> though, is certainly attributable to the reasons cited by the writer.
>> 
>> Mark A. Mandel

In other words, the same motivation for the spelling of “pandemicked”

LH

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


More information about the Ads-l mailing list