Subbing tip #6: flak or flack?

When someone comes under attack for something or other, many journalists pull out the old anti-aircraft metaphor to describe it. But here, sadly, their ignorance starts to show.

“Flak” comes from a German acronym for anti aircraft fire – Fl(ieger)a(bwehr)k(anone).

A “flack” is a slightly derogatory North American term for a publicity agent.

So ditch that “c” folks – you don’t need it. Unless you are under attack by someone in PR. Then it might work…

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