While surfing the ‘net today I found a wonderful site: The Communications Network and its Jargon Finder. The site lists many of the over-used, unnecessarily vague and downright ugly words that creep into the writing and speech in the world of non-profits (largely by way of the for-profit world). It also has snarky and insightful takedowns of each jargon word’s distressing devaluation of both our language and the important work done by non-profits.
This site is for everyone who cringes at the kind of language in my post’s title and especially my number one pet peeve, impact used as a verb:
“With apologies to Vietnam, Watergate, and Iran, the most certain sign that modern civilization is going to hell is its invention of IMPACTFUL. The earlier arrival of the verb TO IMPACT, rather like that of Rosemary’s baby, was a birth so diabolical as to herald an imminent and near-universal perdition. Today, finding an evaluation in which nothing is IMPACTED would rank with bagging a live platypus.”
The only thing missing from the Jargon Finder, in my mind, was using quotation marks to imply that what is contained within is ironically not what the word means. Although, I must admit that seems to pop up more in academic works (especially by my homeboys, the left-wingers.)