Merriam-Webster Settles Fracking vs Fracing Debate
From Columbus Business First:
When I first started at Columbus Business First, a few oil and gas lawyers and engineers gave me grief because of how I spelled the shorthand term for “hydraulic fracturing,” the drilling process where underground rocks are fractured to help extract oil and natural gas. Within the industry, it’s always been spelled “fracing” or sometimes “fraccing.”
I’ve been told the media, of which many of you remain suspicious, uses the term “fracking” like a pejorative, much like activists do, and spell it their way too.
The Associated Press Stylebook, which most journalists stick to as part dictionary/part encyclopedia, early on declared “fracking” was right, but I’d still get complaints from industry folks. One attorney emailed me in January with the subject line “Misspelling of Fracing,” and suggested I call oil heavyweights Halliburton, Weatherford and Schlumberger. “They will tell you the correct spelling of FRACING. Take it from companies that are professionals in the area of fracing.”