Flack Attack

Given the oh-so-sanctimonious spelling lesson Senator McCain gave Senator Obama last week for using an alternative spelling of the military word “flak/flack,” it’s a good time to remind our readers that one who provides publicity is a “flack/flak,” not a “flak/flack.” And if you use an alternate spelling, you will be deemed by us unfit to serve in such an esteemed capacity.

– Loveland

5 thoughts on “Flack Attack

  1. Of course, the whole point of Sen. McCain’s spelling lesson was to simply point out that Obama doesn’t have enough military experience to use the appropriate spelling.

    Despite what the dictionary may say, military personnel would use the “Flak” spelling, which is historically accurate, referring to the German FlaK AA weapons.

    But that’s just my two cents

  2. jloveland says:

    A couple thoughts, Arc. Few in politics and the media who make that point in 2007 supported veteran Kerry over deferer Bush in 2004, so that base argument is hypocritical for them. Moreover, I’m no military grammarian, but a quick Google (site:.mil “flack jacket”) shows lots of military websites spelling it “ck.” So, it looks to be alternate not aberrant.
    Sometimes even honorable politicians get petty in the heat of a campaign. This strikes me as one of those times. But those kinds of moments are what make campaigns fun, and it’s interesting to see how the media handles them. In this case, many didn’t do great homework.

  3. I really don’t feel the urge to get petty, and I see your point regarding the multiple spellings. However, I will say that having been in the aviation side of the military, we always referred to them as Flak, and whereas your search turns up about 98 hits using the “ck” spelling, the same search without the “c” turns up about 545 hits.

    But it’s a moot point. The only point that I have is that, as a Veteran, I get irritated by people, regardless of who they are or what side of the political spectrum they hail from, who speak on military issues when they are clearly lacking in military experience.

  4. jloveland says:

    Thanks for your service, Arc. It is much appreciated by the Crowd.

    I understand the irritation, but I suspect we all are guilty of speaking on subjects about which we lack expertise. If only soldiers can speak of war management, should only lawyers be able to speak of the law, only minorities be able to speak of injustice and only pacifists be able to speak of the best way to keep the peace?

    One other point: Miiltary service isn’t necessarily a predictor of success as commander-in-chief (CIC). The CICs of WW I and II didn’t serve and the CICs of the Vietnam and Iraq Wars did. I’m not aware of how they graded out respectively as spellers.

  5. Benidt says:

    And perhaps our greatest president, Lincoln, served for about 20 minutes in the BlackHawk War in Illinois as a young man. He got his military knowledge from the Library of Congress and from watching really bad generals and being smart about learning from mistakes.

    Loveland, loved your spelling in the Strib post — duel purposes, and ubernatorial for Hatch. Excellent plays on words.

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