Flack vs. flak

  • A flack is a person—especially a press agent or publicist—who talks up his or her employer and deflects criticism. Flak (usually a mass noun) refers to (1) antiaircraft artillery, and (2) excessive or abusive criticism (the second definition derives metaphorically from the first).




    RIM has taken a lot of flak from CNET and others for its decision to pair the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet with a BlackBerry smartphone. [CNET]

    He promptly became a political flack. [Gawker]

    Brown budget plan draws flak from right, left [LA Times]

    So far, Carney’s been successful in making the transition from journalist to administration flack. [Yahoo! News]


    1. As an Aussie, I can confirm that I would almost always use “cop” with “flak” in a sentence. Can’t say I know why however.

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