Grammar Friday

Today’s two grammar tips:

  • Purists (I count myself among them) cringe when they hear the noun “impact” used as a verb, as in, “How will this impact our sales?” It appears that there’s no turning back from such widespread abuse at this point, but you should know that “impact” is, strictly speaking, a noun and only a noun. The less pretentious word “affect” is the verb you want, as in, “How will this affect our sales?” Purists seem to be losing impact on this argument, as nearly as I can tell.
  • The worst of the new “nouns as verbs,” I think, is “parent,” as in, “You have to parent your children well, or they’ll turn out poorly.” You can raise your children well, you can be a good parent, but I don’t want to hear that you’re parenting your children. OK?
  • BONUS TIP (or bonus rant): On the other front – verbs as nouns – I think the worst new word is “learnings,” as in, “What learnings can we take away from this situation?” The word you want is “lessons,” not “learnings.”

For a more comprehensive look at the misuse of nouns as verbs, check out the “soyouwanna” website. (A hat tip to Lary Huls for suggesting this topic.)

Thanks for visiting. While you’re here, please look around the site. You can subscribe via e-mail or RSS feed. The tools to do so are at the top of the right-hand column. To share or retweet the entry, use the buttons below. You can follow me on Twitter: @peterfaur

This entry was posted in Grammar and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Grammar Friday

  1. Andrew Flynn says:

    Going the other way, the use of verbs as nouns has to be even more off-putting. “We’re going into the meeting with several ‘asks’.” or “Here is our list of asks.” Cringe-worthy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *