Re: USAGE- Wisdom Tooth

Subject: Re: USAGE- Wisdom Tooth
From: CHRISTINE ANAMEIER <CANAMEIE -at- email -dot- usps -dot- gov>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 10:07:55 -0500

> I heard somewhere that the word "impacted" should be
> used only in relation to dental hygiene- more
> specifically "an impacted wisdom tooth".

If anyone ever wants to torture me, all they have to do is stick that
word in a document and then NOT let me edit it out.

I can only guess that this usage of the word was pioneered by someone
who thought the good old word "affected" lacked punch and was
oblivious to the medical connotations. Ick. Worse yet is "impactful."
(Is that even a word?)

But my main objection to "impacted" and its synonyms is that they're
vague. If X "impacts" Y, does that mean X helps Y... or hinders it...
demolishes it... increases it... elevates it to an art form...
complicates it... plasters it all over the evening news... (obligatory
tech writing tie-in: when writing, it's best not to rely on words that
raise the hackles of half your audience or leave your meaning

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