Hang-up with the word "impact". Prescriptive usage?

Subject: Hang-up with the word "impact". Prescriptive usage?
From: Ron Rhodes <rrhodes -at- IX -dot- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 20 Mar 1996 00:12:18 GMT

Does anyone besides me have a personal hang-up with the word "Impact?"
I was taught that "impact" meant the amount force between two objects
when they collide, like a plane and a mountain top.

The following sentence IS correct.

"The plane smashed into the mountain top with tremendous impact."

To me, the sentence below IS NOT correct.

"Borden's new marketing plan will impact the industry and force
competitors to follow their lead."

In the above sentence "impact" should be replaced with "affect."
Unless Borden's marketing plan somehow causes physical or material
damage when it smashes into the broadside of their competitor's office
buildings.

Many dictionaries don't make the distinction. But there a certain type
of dictionary that does. It is either a prescriptive or a descriptive
dictionary. One uses traditional definitions, the other uses the
trendier and
less reliable conventions. Does anyone know which dictionary uses the
more traditional definitions? And, if so, could you recommend a good
one?


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