“Wrack” was used as a demo word in a Car Talk word puzzler recently, Ray showing that you can remove the W, leaving “rack”, or remove the “r” leaving wack. Both are valid words, but rack doesn’t sound exactly like wack, so “wrack” didn’t work for the particular puzzler.
Ok, but I got an issue. Ray said you’d use “wrack” in the phrase ‘The patient is wracked in pain.’ But isn’t that usage incorrect? Shouldn’t that phrase be “The patient is racked in pain” ? What do you think?
Often confused in this sense since 16c. with rack (v.) in the sense of “torture on the rack;” to wrack one’s brains is thus erroneous. Related: Wracked ; wracking.