You know that word choice matters. Twain's lightning versus lightning bug comes to mind.

What about spelling? Well, the tumult over a key part of a way to complete a sideways oil and gas well shows that spelling matters too.

The Supreme Court of Texas explains the process thus:

As in other shale formations, wells in the Barnett Shale [area of northern Texas] require fracture stimulation in order to produce. Fracing a well entails pumping large volumes of water and sand into reservoir rock, which then mixes with saline formation water and must be flowed back out of the well before production can begin. A company fracing a well must dispose of the resulting waste.

Railroad Com'n of Texas v. Citizens for a Safe Future, 336 S.W.3d 619 (Tex. 2011).*

Note the "fracing". Sounds like fray sing? Nay. Frack-ing. Fracking.

Why does the Court use "fracing" instead of "fracking"? Most other writers about the technique go with the "frack" method. See, e.g.,; Wikipedia; Gasland; WSJ.

People who question or oppose hydraulic fracturing tend to include the "k". NYT items do. Indeed, they often add "hydro" as well — as in "hydrofrack" or "hydrofracking".

Without the "k", the word seems almost benign. With it, it sounds less so. And with the "hydro" prefix? Pretty darn bad.

Bonus:    Arrrrgh, me hearties – Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

* The Court in an older case noted that someone "[f]irst used" "[f]racing" "commercially in 1949". Coastal Oil & Gas Corp. v. Garza Energy Trust, 268 S.W.3d 1, 7 (Tex. 2008) (holding that rule of capture barred claim for trespass).