I’ve always hated the word impact when it’s used as a substitute for affect, influence, alter, or change. It’s one of those Big Swinging Cock Words that is supposed to make the speaker sound more manly (and possibly ‘pro-active’–another despicable word). It does have some usefulness though: in conjunction with other evidence, it helps establish that someone is an asshole.
Anyway, that’s a long way of saying that this bit in a post by Paul Krugman about tribal authority (we only listen to people we consider to be authorities*) very funny:
I suppose that in my quest to improve policy and understanding I should be trying to fit in better – lose the beard, learn to play golf, start using “impact” as a verb. But I probably couldn’t pull it off even if I tried. And as a result there will always be a large group of people who will never be moved by any evidence I present.
*I actually think it’s the converse: there are people we won’t listen to ever, although I think in a fair number of cases, that’s actually the right thing to do.