Your Pain Is Our Pleasure
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December 25, 2006
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While impact as a verb, and a non-literal meaning as synonym of effect, may have come into popular usage, that doesn't necessarily mean that one ought to do it.
Many forget that dictionaries are descriptive, not prescriptive. One would do well to BUY an unabridged dictionary (I know it's not dictionary.com) and look at the whole history of the word. The shift in the meaning of the word "impact" is unnecessary and, in my opinion, the pinnacle of linguistic vulgarity.
The use of terms such as "impact on" and the reviling popular uses of the transitive case "impacting" are the products of corporate-speak and the obsessive need to perpetually find more extreme linguistic representations for our thoughts.
Impact is a beautiful and useful word - if you stick to the historical use of the term, which describes a literal blunt force. We have plenty of other words to describe impact as a synonym of "effect" in the less literal sense.
In this case, I agree with your professor - but I think his critique is to your loose usage of the definition of impact. Please people, save the language! Use "impact" in the manner it was originally intended and avoid the corporate-speak.
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