The Magic City

The Magic City

Monday, January 28, 2013

Words You Want to Punch in the Face

My husband recently started a list - Words He Wants to Punch in the Face. It is a fine idea. He started the list by saying if he had to hear the word artisanal one more time he would do something likely to land him on a no-fly list.  And so the list began.

We've been adding to the list over the last few weeks. The most recent addition - impacted. In our opinion, this is an example of where misuse of a word through the media has led to common acceptance of its abuse. 

Frequently, in media reports, the word impacted will be be used to mean affect (I'll spare you my rant on affect/effect).  Impact as a verb means to strike forcefully. As a noun it includes a collision/the striking of one thing against another, the force transmitted by a collision, the power of making a strong impression, and/or the effect of impression of one thing on another.

As a verb:  The meteor impacted the Earth.
As a noun:  The meteor had an impact on the Earth. or The hail had an impact on the outcome of the game.

The misuse comes about when the speaker tries to use impact as a verb to describe having an affect on something. For example, "the election impacted the economy."  No, no, no.  The election affected the economy.  The election had an impact on the economy. Save the use of impacted to describe dental work.

Do you have any words you want to punch in the face? 


  1. yes. I want to stop the use of stunning. There is not much in the world that is really stunning, is there?

    and people who use alot when it's a lot. ERG!

  2. I am stunned! Stunned! :)

    Thanks for your comment, Jillian. Hope all is well with you.

  3. Diet is a word I want to punch in the throat. Makes me want to "die" because the more I try to be good, the badder I am. hehehe. How you like that grammar?

  4. Though it's not one I heard since, but it has stood out because I thought it was just too hilarious to forget.

    At a branch of a large company I use to work for, we had a meeting where some of the big boys at the home office gave their little spiel over a speaker. So there we were all sitting around the conference table listening to this guy talk about silos. How each branch shouldn't be a silo (keeping info to themselves and not sharing with the other branches).

    Well, as the meeting continued, he said silo probably ten more times. I was doing my best not to laugh by the time he was finished. Of course, no one saw the humor that I did, but really folks, when you use an analogy, don't get carried away. Silo!