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#1 2009-12-04 00:14:32

sigfpe
Member
Registered: 2009-12-03
Posts: 2

"Get a lot of slack"

I understand the metaphor used in “get a lot of flak” or “get a lot of flack”, but “get a lot of slack” sounds like a mishearing and/or misinterpretation to me. The strange thing is that when I do a web search I get more hits on “get a lot of slack” than “get a lot of flack”. So Is this an eggcorn, or have I been living under a rock the last 40 years and failed to realize that “get a lot of slack” is correct?

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#2 2009-12-04 04:08:03

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1751
Website

Re: "Get a lot of slack"

To me they’re a kind of opposite: if someone gives you a lot of flak they are not giving you any slack.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#3 2009-12-05 01:41:37

sigfpe
Member
Registered: 2009-12-03
Posts: 2

Re: "Get a lot of slack"

But if you look at the usages that come up on doing a search, like “This app seems to get a lot of slack, but I like it.”, it’s clear that “get a lot of slack” is intended to mean “be heavily criticized”.

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#4 2009-12-05 05:14:59

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1751
Website

Re: "Get a lot of slack"

So it’s an opposite used malapropistically. That is not unheard of (surprisingly common actually). But I don’t know how to make sense of it—how does the phrase with “slack” add up to mean “be criticized/griped about” or anything else that fits those contexts? So for me it is, while an interesting and fun error, not an eggcorn.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#5 2009-12-05 17:37:11

Peter Forster
Eggcornista
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 813

Re: "Get a lot of slack"

I think something sublidiomatic is at work. Being slagged off is much the same as getting a lot of flak, but then we’d have to accept that ‘slag’ could be misheard/misinterpreted as ‘slack’ – not too unlikely a leap, perhaps?

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#6 2013-09-03 10:20:46

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 617

Re: "Get a lot of slack"

And, FWIW, here’s the example I encountered recently:

Fillion is over hyped for no reason at all. Sorry. I know i’ll get slack for this.

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