Google Search Face-Off: Fracking v. Frac’ing

Is it “fracking” or “frac’ing”? As Grace Hood reports for KUNC and Inside Energy, it depends on who you ask. If you ask people who search on Google, “fracking” dominates. This chart from Google Trends shows the relative popularity of “fracking” and “frac’ing” as search terms:

You’re looking at “how many searches have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time.” When it comes to Google searches, it’s “fracking” not “frac’ing.”

MAKING ENERGY: To Frack Or Not To Frac

While the media, the public and now the Merriam-Webster Collegiate dictionary all spell it “fracking,” many in the oil and gas industry don’t. “I would spell it frac’ing,” said Scott Hall, a Denver-based petroleum engineer with decades in the industry. He’s not alone. Many others in the industry spell it either “fracing” or “fraccing,” they never use the “k.”

“The minute I start seeing people spell it ‘f-r-a-c-k-i-n-g’ that’s a red flag that you don’t know that much about the technology—early on. Now it’s starting to become more common now,” said Hall.