Frack Added to Dictionary in 2013

The Oxford English Dictionary added a number of new words this past year to the standard lexicon. One word familiar to our industry was added in the November quarterly update: “frack.”

Take a look at the first official definition:

“Verb: inject liquid into (a subterranean rock formation, borehole, etc.) at high pressure so as to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas.”

I think the purpose of fracking is to create new fissures, as opposed to opening existing ones. And here is the example of a sentence they used for this new word:

“millions of gallons of water are needed to successfully frack a single well”


And here is the reason for such misuse of the term:

A survey conducted by researchers at Oregon State, George Mason University, and Yale found that >50% of the 1,061 Americans surveyed knew little or nothing about fracking, according to the Casper [Wyoming] Star-Tribune.

“The fact that half of the people we surveyed know little if anything about fracking suggests that there may be an opportunity to educate the American citizenry in a non-partisan way about this important issue,” said Hilary Boudet, a public policy expert at Oregon State and the study’s lead author. “The question is: who will lead that discussion?”

Good question.
Whoever that is, perhaps that person should start with the Oxford University Press folks and at least have them get the definition right and use proper examples in the dictionary.

Uneducated Fracking Quote of the Day:
“Fracking kills, and it doesn’t just kill us. It kills the land, nature and, eventually, the whole world.”
– Yoko Ono, wife of the late musician John Lennon of The Beatles


One Response to “Frack Added to Dictionary in 2013”

  1. petrocomputing Says:

    Rant justified. That’s just bad all around. Not even a mention of proppant, which is the key ingredient in fracking. And it should be spelled “frac,” IMHO.

    – Don in Houston

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