Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I Am Not A Tooth

Wisdom teeth get impacted. People don’t. Events have an impact on us, but they do not impact us.
This grating misuse of the word impact had got to stop. Sadly, I don’t believe it will as it’s become so annoyingly commonplace that it’s worming its way into the fabric of the language.
It’s not just used in everyday conversation either. I read it in newspapers and hear it on newscasts. These are people who communicate for a living. They ought to know better.
Years ago I railed about the misuse of access. You don’t access something, you gain access to it, I argued.
It didn’t do any good, of course. Today we’re gleefully accessing all manner of things. I still don’t think it’s correct, but I’ve given up. I say access now, too, and it’s happened so often I don’t feel any pain when I do it. The impact of it is lost.
This is a dangerous post to make. Now that I’ve written it I’ll probably mess up somewhere in public and make the very mistake I’ve complained about or one that’s equally egregious.
Such things happen. I hope the lesson it brings has an impact on me.

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