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On 22 September 2014 12:41, Brian Barker <> wrote:
At 12:28 22/09/2014 -0500, T. R. Valentine wrote:

On 22 September 2014 12:00, Brian Barker wrote:

What a pity they cannot spell "flak" - even in a headline!
Both are correct.

No: sorry, but that's silly, of course. A dictionary's purpose is to help
readers understand what they find - correct or incorrect. So any dictionary
worth its salt will indeed list common wrong versions as well as correct
ones. They are descriptive and don't provide any imprimatur. As someone
memorably said, "_Fliegerabwehrkanone_ has nineteen letters, none of which
is a C"!

No, a dictionary is typically said to be descriptive rather than
prescriptive. But it doesn't say something is acceptable when it is

For example, at the same site, try
it redirects you to the correct spelling and has nothing about
spelling with a 'd' being acceptable (because it isn't).

Merriam-Webster also says 'flack' is an alternative spelling for 'flak'.

Different dictionaries use different labelling, but will generally
distinguish between equally valid (e.g. theatre/theater); acceptable,
but as a second, less-desirable choice  (which is what I believe
flak/flack is), and non-standard or substandard (e.g. irregardless). A
web site will try to anticipate misspelt words (Google's search is
very good at that, and that is what is doing
with 'priviledge'), but that isn't the same thing.

T. R. Valentine
A rich heart may be under a poor coat.

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