Words at Play : Top 10 Commonly Confused Words, Vol. 1

#5: Flak/Flack 

Question:

If you're getting shot at by antiaircraft guns, or receiving unfriendly criticism, are you taking flak or flack?

Answer:

flak

How to Remember It:

Although flack is an established variant, the more foreign-looking flak is the original spelling and the better choice. Flak was originally a German acronym for Fliegerabwehrkanonen – from FLieger ("flyer") + Abwehr ("defense") + Kanonen ("cannons") – which basically means "antiaircraft gun."

That use of flak in English dates back to 1938. In the decades after the war it took on its civilian meaning of "criticism."

(A flack, meanwhile, is a PR agent or someone who provides publicity.)

goto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slidegoto slide
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
March 05, 2015
ilk Hear it
Sort or kind
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears