#105 | Stepping On A Craic: Donald Clarke & The Word That Announced Modern Ireland

Every few months on the Irish side of the internet, a certain debate pops up about the spelling of a word. The word refers to convivial merriment, especially in an Irish context. But should it be spelled crack or craic?

The reason this discussion can withstand multiple rounds of debate hinges on the way that the word and the stories of its origins overlap with other recurring debates: on Irish identity and smugness, on Gaeilge and if/when it stopped giving new loanwords to English, and on contrarianism itself.

This week, Darach and Gearóidín are joined by Senior Film Critic of the Irish Times, Donald Clarke, who has written about this phenomenon on more than one occasion. He tells the gang about his own lived experience as an Irish migrant in London during Italia 90 when he noticed a change in the spelling and frequency in the term’s use. The gang consider the pivot in Irish identity and perceptions of Ireland around this time and consider if feelings towards the word reflect feelings on this transition.

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