Brace for impact

Some copy editors and writers scorn the use of “impact” as a verb. The word sounds like jargon to them — like something that pointy-haired boss in the “Dilbert” comic would say. The dictionary and some usage books find “impact” as a verb just fine. Still, the usage is easy enough to avoid. “Impact” can be changed to “affect” or “influence” as needed.

I came across an instance of “impact” as a verb today in my editing: A decision in either area will greatly impact your options in the other. I thought “affect” was better in this sentence.

This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.