This post from Beirut.

What people have done with the word impact. Sparing you my usual quotidian explosion, I let my fingers do the walking.

From The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, 2000:

The use of impact as a verb meaning “to have an effect” often has a big impact on readers. Eighty-four percent of the Usage Panel disapproves of the construction to impact on, as in the phrase social pathologies, common to the inner city, that impact heavily on such a community; fully 95 percent disapproves of the use of impact as a transitive verb in the sentence Companies have used disposable techniques that have a potential for impacting our health. •It is unclear why this usage provokes such a strong response, but it cannot be because of novelty. Impact has been used as a verb since 1601, when it meant “to fix or pack in,” and its modern, figurative use dates from 1935. It may be that its frequent appearance in the jargon-riddled remarks of politicians, military officials, and financial analysts continues to make people suspicious. Nevertheless, the verbal use of impact has become so common in the working language of corporations and institutions that many speakers have begun to regard it as standard. It seems likely, then, that the verb will eventually become as unobjectionable as contact is now, since it will no longer betray any particular pretentiousness on the part of those who use it.

You're seeing it happen: apathy and acquiescence, this is how lies become the truth. It all starts and ends with language.


At Sunday, November 26, 2006, Anonymous hank. said...

I got bored once and looked up the correct usage of the dash ( - ) in grammar. It's so obscure that misuse is excusable for the most part.


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