[Ads-l] "fracking"

Mark Mandel markamandel at GMAIL.COM
Sat Aug 15 13:16:24 EDT 2020


And of course as soon as I sent this I thought "Why not Google it
yourself?". So I asked for "micing" and got a ton of hits. Many are
plaintive requests for spelling advice, with and without *-ed* or -ing, but
many are straightforward uses of *miced* or *micing*. Here are two in
particular:

https://recording.org/threads/micing-or-miking.6704/
is a Q&A/discussion/argument, mostly among musicians for whom the word in
any spelling is an everyday term of art.

And https://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/01/magazine/01-onlanguage-t.html
by our own Ben Zimmer, is *a detailed analysis of the question, from almost
exactly ten years ago*! Great foresight, Ben!

MAM

On Sat, Aug 15, 2020, 12:38 PM Mark Mandel <markamandel at gmail.com> wrote:

> But it's still pronounced with a diphthong, /maɪk/, same as the older
> <mike>, pron- instead of spelling-based. Any evidence of ?<miced> or
> ?<micing> with or without an apostrophe or hyphen after the <c>? If none, I
> propose that the pronunciation blocks the addition of <k> or a second <c>.
>
> Mark (not Mike) A. Mandel
>
> On Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 7:54 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
>> >
>> >
>> > On Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 2:13 PM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> > > Amazon reviewer, 2012:
>> > >
>> > > "This mission was fracked up when the ambush jumped."
>> > >
>> > > JL
>> > >
>> > > On Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 9:11 PM James A. Landau <
>> JJJRLandau at netscape.com
>> > >
>> > > <
>> > > JJJRLandau at netscape.com> wrote:
>> > >
>> > > > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> > > > -----------------------
>> > > > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> > > > Poster:       "James A. Landau <JJJRLandau at netscape.com>"
>> > > >               <JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM>
>> > > > Subject:      "fracking"
>> > > >
>> > > >
>> > >
>> >
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> > > >
>> > > > For anybody on the list who would like to start a barfight...
>> > > >
>> > > > (I am not taking sides.  There are serious environmental problems
>> with
>> > > > fracking; whether the natural gas industry will overcome these
>> > problems I
>> > > > cannot predict.)
>> > > >
>> > > > from
>> > > >
>> > >
>> >
>> http://channels.isp.netscape.com/pf/story.jsp?idq=/ff/story/1001/20120126/1739.htm
>> > > >
>> > > > No energy industry backing for the word 'fracking'
>> > > > JONATHAN FAHEY
>> > > > AP Energy Writer
>> > > >
>> > > >
>> > > > NEW YORK (AP) — A different kind of F-word is stirring a linguistic
>> and
>> > > > political debate as controversial as what it defines.
>> > > >
>> > > > The word is "fracking" — as in hydraulic fracturing, a technique
>> long
>> > > used
>> > > > by the oil and gas industry to free oil and gas from rock.
>> > > >
>> > > > It's not in the dictionary, the industry hates it, and President
>> Barack
>> > > > Obama didn't use it in his State of the Union speech — even as he
>> > praised
>> > > > federal subsidies for it.
>> > > >
>> > > > The word sounds nasty, and environmental advocates have been able to
>> > use
>> > > > it to generate opposition — and revulsion — to what they say is a
>> nasty
>> > > > process that threatens water supplies.
>> > > >
>> > > > "It obviously calls to mind other less socially polite terms, and
>> folks
>> > > > have been able to take advantage of that," said Kate Sinding, a
>> senior
>> > > > attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council who works on
>> drilling
>> > > > issues.
>> > > >
>> > > > One of the chants at an anti-drilling rally in Albany earlier this
>> > month
>> > > > was "No fracking way!"
>> > > >
>> > > > Industry executives argue that the word is deliberately misspelled
>> by
>> > > > environmental activists and that it has become a slur that should
>> not
>> > be
>> > > > used by media outlets that strive for objectivity.
>> > > >
>> > > > "It's a co-opted word and a co-opted spelling used to make it look
>> as
>> > > > offensive as people can try to make it look," said Michael Kehs,
>> vice
>> > > > president for Strategic Affairs at Chesapeake Energy, the nation's
>> > > > second-largest natural gas producer.
>> > > >
>> > > > To the surviving humans of the sci-fi TV series "Battlestar
>> Galactica,"
>> > > it
>> > > > has nothing to do with oil and gas. It is used as a substitute for
>> the
>> > > very
>> > > > down-to-Earth curse word.
>> > > >
>> > > > Michael Weiss, a professor of linguistics at Cornell University,
>> says
>> > the
>> > > > word originated as simple industry jargon, but has taken on a
>> negative
>> > > > meaning over time — much like the word "silly" once meant "holy."
>> > > >
>> > > > But "frack" also happens to sound like "smack" and "whack," with
>> more
>> > > > violent connotations.
>> > > >
>> > > > "When you hear the word 'fracking,' what lights up your brain is the
>> > > > profanity," says Deborah Mitchell, who teaches marketing at the
>> > > University
>> > > > of Wisconsin's School of Business. "Negative things come to mind."
>> > > >
>> > > > Obama did not use the word in his State of the Union address Tuesday
>> > > > night, when he said his administration will help ensure natural gas
>> > will
>> > > be
>> > > > developed safely, suggesting it would support 600,000 jobs by the
>> end
>> > of
>> > > > the decade.
>> > > >
>> > > > In hydraulic fracturing, millions of gallons of water, sand and
>> > chemicals
>> > > > are pumped into wells to break up underground rock formations and
>> > create
>> > > > escape routes for the oil and gas. In recent years, the industry has
>> > > > learned to combine the practice with the ability to drill
>> horizontally
>> > > into
>> > > > beds of shale, layers of fine-grained rock that in some cases have
>> > > trapped
>> > > > ancient organic matter that has cooked into oil and gas.
>> > > >
>> > > > By doing so, drillers have unlocked natural gas deposits across the
>> > East,
>> > > > South and Midwest that are large enough to supply the U.S. for
>> decades.
>> > > > Natural gas prices have dipped to decade-low levels, reducing
>> customer
>> > > > bills and prompting manufacturers who depend on the fuel to expand
>> > > > operations in the U.S.
>> > > >
>> > > > Environmentalists worry that the fluid could leak into water
>> supplies
>> > > from
>> > > > cracked casings in wells. They are also concerned that wastewater
>> from
>> > > the
>> > > > process could contaminate water supplies if not properly treated or
>> > > > disposed of. And they worry the method allows too much methane, the
>> > main
>> > > > component of natural gas and an extraordinarily potent greenhouse
>> gas,
>> > to
>> > > > escape.
>> > > >
>> > > > Some want to ban the practice altogether, while others want tighter
>> > > > regulations.
>> > > >
>> > > > The Environmental Protection Agency is studying the issue and may
>> > propose
>> > > > federal regulations. The industry prefers that states regulate the
>> > > process.
>> > > >
>> > > > Some states have banned it. A New York proposal to lift its ban drew
>> > > about
>> > > > 40,000 public comments — an unprecedented total — inspired in part
>> by
>> > > > slogans such as "Don't Frack With New York."
>> > > >
>> > > > The drilling industry has generally spelled the word without a "K,"
>> > using
>> > > > terms like "frac job" or "frac fluid."
>> > > >
>> > > > Energy historian Daniel Yergin spells it "fraccing" in his book,
>> "The
>> > > > Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World." The
>> > > glossary
>> > > > maintained by the oilfield services company Schlumberger includes
>> only
>> > > > "frac" and "hydraulic fracturing."
>> > > >
>> > > > 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 word does not appear in The Associated Press Stylebook, a guide
>> for
>> > > > news organizations. David Minthorn, deputy standards editor at the
>> AP,
>> > > says
>> > > > there are tentative plans to include an entry in the 2012 edition.
>> > > >
>> > > > He said the current standard is to avoid using the word except in
>> > direct
>> > > > quotes, and to instead use "hydraulic fracturing."
>> > > >
>> > > > That won't stop activists — sometimes called "fracktivists" — from
>> > > > repeating the word as often as possible.
>> > > >
>> > > > "It was created by the industry, and the industry is going to have
>> to
>> > > live
>> > > > with it," says the NRDC's Sinding.
>> > > >
>> > > > Dave McCurdy, CEO of the American Gas Association, agrees, much to
>> his
>> > > > dismay: "It's Madison Avenue hell," he says.
>> > > >
>> > > > ___
>> > > >
>> > > > Jonathan Fahey can be reached at http://twitter.com/JonathanFahey.
>>
>>

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