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b) to receive strong criticism
take flak = unter Beschuss geraten, heftige Kritik einstecken müssen
take flak: approximately 25,000 hits
Fuels from vegetable oil, sugar, corn and a number of other crops and plants, collectively known as biofuels, are TAKING FLAK. There are doubts about their carbon savings, and concern over their impact on food supplies, prices and the land needed to grow them.
"I suppose I TOOK A BIT OF FLAK for taking the jazz attitude into the classical world."
- Violinist Nigel Kennedy
Did you know?
- to receive excessive or abusive criticism
(The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition)
Flak is another word for antiaircraft artillery or the bursting shells fired from such weapons. Thus if you take flak, you are literally under fire for something you have said or done, meaning you are being heavily criticised.
Flak stems from an abbreviation of the German word for antiaircraft artillery, "Flugabwehrkanone." The word originated during World War II and was used by Allied troops to describe the antiaircraft fire from German defence artillery. A flak jacket was an armoured jacket worn by aircrews as a defence against bullets and shell fragments. Flak jackets are still used by military units but they go by more generic names like "armoured vest" and "personal armour."
There are different ways to describe taking flak:
- to draw flak (The new personnel policy announced yesterday drew flak from the works council.)
- to get flak (I'm getting a lot of flak over comments I made at the last project meeting.)
- to face flak (Police officials are facing flak over allegations of corruption.)
- to catch flak (Some restaurant owners are catching flak for ignoring the new smoking ban.)
- to attract flak (Big energy companies are attracting flak over recent price increases.)
These days, many large companies have people called "flak catchers" (officially referred to as a company spokesperson). These are people who usually work in the public relations and communications departments and who are very skilled at taking public criticism and turning it to the company's advantage.
draw fire, catch hell, face criticism
SMUGGLE OWAD INTO TODAY'S CONVERSATION:
"If we raise our prices again we'll have to take a lot of flak from our our customers."
Today's Learning Tip (16):
TEACH TO LEARN
A great way to learn is to teach! Explain your word-of-the-day to a colleague or friend, provide an example and if necessary a memory aid. Test your friend after 60 minutes, and the next day. Teach it, and you'll remember it.
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