Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Don't you really want to hurt me?
The fight to stop the abuse of "impact" as a verb is probably a losing one. It's time to regroup and take on the adverb-verb combination seen here in news stories and reporters' blog posts:

  • Board members said the new design was a good compromise that wouldn’t negatively impact performing arts classes.
  • The scientific projections are dire and threaten to negatively impact the planet as we know it.
  • Owl Creek Community School founding member Deidra Krois stated that a private school in Ridgway could negatively impact the district’s budget far greater than a charter school.
"Negatively impact" is wordy, and it has the tone of jargon. Let's find a single verb to add punch to these sentences. Yes, they have other problems, but we'll limit our efforts to the issue at hand.
  • Board members said the new design was a good compromise that wouldn’t hinder performing arts classes.
  • The scientific projections are dire and threaten to destroy the planet as we know it.
  • Owl Creek Community School founding member Deidra Krois stated that a private school in Ridgway could affect the district’s budget far greater than a charter school.
Perhaps you prefer the original sentences. That's OK: You won't negatively impact my feelings if you disagree.
 
posted by Andy Bechtel at 8:08 PM | Permalink |


1 Comments:


  • At 12:54 PM, Anonymous geek girl

    Using "impact" as a verb also sounds ugly to my ear. It sounds hideous, in fact. And you're right that "negatively impact" is a lame way to say "hurt" or "harm" or whatever.
    Keep fighting the good fight!