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.” Or how about, “What can we learn from this situation?”

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.)

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One Response to Grammar Friday

  1. Ned Maniscalco says:

    My pick for worst use of a verb as noun is “reveal,” as in, “Stay tuned for the big reveal.”

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