Not long ago, I saw an email or blog post or news article–memory fails me–where some guy in the Marcellus Shale was taking credit for putting the “k” in fracking.
Don’t get me wrong. I love each and every one of my fellow fracktivists in the Marcellus area. You totally ROCK! But, really, I mean, REALLY…
So, I went on a quest to find The One, starting with a search of my own blog. I knew I was not The One but I wanted to see how far back my records went. They went way back. But, before I had my own blog, I blogged about fracking on other blogs. And before that, I wrote letters to the Wise County Messenger. Even way before that, before I knew what a frack was, people were getting fracked and writing about it.
The earliest reference to fracking I could find was Our Drinking Water at Risk written by Lisa Sumi in 2004.
This report was written by Lisa Sumi, Research Director of the Oil and Gas Accountability Project (OGAP). Lisa Sumi holds a Master of Science Degree in Physical Geography from the University of Toronto, Canada. She has worked on issues related to extractive industries (mining, oil and gas) for seven years
Ah ha! So I asked Lisa if she was The One.
I’ve always been a stickler for proper grammar (before I studied sciences I was a journalism major).
I first started using “fracking” as opposed to “fraccing” or “fracing” when I started writing Our Drinking Water at Risk (2004). At the time, I had seen references to the shortened form of “hydraulic fracture” as being “frac” or “frack.” No matter which form one uses, it makes sense for the present participle of “frac” or “frack” to be fracking.
Here’s what Oxford Dictionaries says about verbs ending in “c”: If the verb ends in -c (e.g. panic), you need to add a -k before adding -ing. And when verbs end in “ck” you get the present participle by adding “ing.”
I didn’t like “fraccing” because at the time, the only word I had seen that ended with “-ccing” was floccing (a term I encountered while doing soil science research). But the root word floc comes from the latin floccus, and is related to terms like flocculent and flocculate, all which have the double c. Fracture comes from the latin root fractus, which does not have a double c, so why would its present participle suddenly get one?
I’ve since found one exception to that rule – the present participle of the verb “sic” is siccing. That just looks wrong to me (although sicking doesn’t look right, either). Regardless, I’m sticking with fracking with a K. And it appears that others are doing so, too.
So there you have it! Proof that we cannot trust the industry with our water because we can’t even trust them with the English language. .
Fraccing = Fray-sing.
UPDATE: Is Google smarter than a fracker?
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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chart recorders says
he oil industry has a monopoly on our energy resources, and so they will always fight alternative sources, no matter how promising they prove to be. The fight for improving alternative energies is not only a battle of intellect and invention (like all things), but has the added challenge of being against the wishes of the most powerful men in the world. The power on their side derives from massive amounts of money, and most of the population who depends on them for energy. We are fighting a giant. Not only will alternative energies be fought against by the oil industry, but also by it’s partners and the people. Let’s not forget that the oil industry secures a huge portion of our jobs, and hurting the industry will cause (those selfish bastards) to liquidate jobs before they lose any of their precious millions.
Jobs vs safe water, clean air and health?
That’s an easy choice for most people. Take the billions we subsidize the oil and gas industry and give it to wind and solar. Then lets talk about jobs.
Robert Finne says
I think I figured out why the industry doesn’t like the word fracking.
Google says that is an illegal or malformed link. EEK!
At the Big Gashole Conference, they revealed several reasons they hate the word fracking. I’ll be letting you know about that soon.
Robert Finne says
It works for me.
Its a Google Trend showing fracking and fraccing.
Chip Northrup says
I started using “fracking” in New York and encouraged other NY fractavists to do so – so that we would “own” the word and the press would pick up on it – as easier to conjugate.
Still see “fraced” and “fracing” in gas hole presentations – but the press has abandoned “frac” in New York. Which was the intent . . . .
kim Feil says
—– Forwarded Message —-
From: Brett Mickelson
To: kim feil ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Wed, October 17, 2012 9:05:47 AM
Subject: Re: so fracking is a word not allowed in your comments? Re: [StamfordAdvocate.com] Please activate your new account
Sadly, many of our users attempt to exploit a perfectly legitimate word as a replacement for it’s more vulgar cousin. As a result, we have been forced to block its usage. I apologize for the inconvenience, but I hope you understand.
Hearst Connecticut Media Group
The ONE was a frack shill. On 12/26/12 I too did a bit of research:
The sad little fracK mites try to belittle us for putting a K in “fracKing”. Get a grip, sad little fracK mites, YOUR folks started this spelling – it started showing up in O & G corps’ materials LONG ago. In 1981 Velvet Exploration, an O & G corp., distributed a press release detailing its plans to fracK a well.
FracK mites seek to discredit those of us who spell the word with a K. It doesn’t serve their masters’ greedy purpose for us to be perceived as knowledgeable.
And, really, the way we fracKtivists spell the word is so much more important than the damage they do while fracKing. Gloria
The word “fracking” seems to be heading to the expletive catagory. The other popular “fc” word seems to fit in as a replacement or substitute. “They are “fracking” our land and lives. Get that “fracking” machine out of our driveway. Something like that. When I first heard it, I thought someone derived an expletive to express their anger about what was happening to the land.