July 2012

You’ll be pleased to know that academics at such public-spirited institutions as Louisiana State University are dealing with the problem of fracking. The problem with the word, that is.

After conducting a public opinion survey, LSU researchers recently advisedthe industry to coin another term, because the harsh consonants in “fracking”–plus the term’s striking similarity to a certain four-letter vulgar expletive–cause “public aversion” to the mining method. “This research shows that the unpleasant sound of the word is at least partially responsible for [Louisiana] residents thinking ‘fracking’ is unsafe,” concluded the scholars.

In their survey, researchers got a more positive response when they replaced “fracking” with this phrase: “A way to extract natural gas that involves using a high-pressure injection of water, sand, and chemicals to remove the natural gas from rocks deep in the Earth’s surface.” That has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? The acronym would be: “AWTENGTIUAHPIOWSACTRTNGFRDITES.”

We Lowdowners can beat that, can’t we? Let’s come up with some new terms to describe this hydraulic fracturing nastiness! The top three phraseologists will get free one-year extensions of their Lowdown subscriptions or one-year gift subscriptions for anyone they choose. Send your fracking phrases to: editors@hightowerlowdown.org

Psst! The print edition of my Lowdown newsletter is just $15 a year. Subscribe now-- and support the populist rebellion!

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