Newspaper people are hyper sensitive to clichés. Editors hate them, writers use them often unaware of what they’re doing, and they are king on television, radio and Internet media outlets.
Take as a case in point, the word, “impacted.” Some people (including supposedly educated news writers) believe you can add “ed” to any word and come up with an acceptable verb. Fox News Chicago’s headline for Jan. 31 was, “Illinois National Guard Soldiers Not Impacted by Riots in Egypt.” I can’t tell you how happy I was to hear that, but not the way Fox News Chicago intended, I’m sure.
If you take any reputable dictionary and look up the word, “impacted,” you’ll see what I mean. The Fox News people intended the word to mean, “affected.” But IMPACT is a much more dramatic word and television writers absolutely love it. All they have to do to get our attention is add “ed” to it and BINGO!
Language is an exact science. Yes, I know many people don’t think so, but teachers and preachers learn early on to become accurate and exact in what they say or write, or they will pay the price. You preachers and teachers out there KNOW this to be true.
The Bible is meant to be understood through the use of language. When the Bible says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,” (Mark 16:15, 16) that is an exact statement and should be interpreted as exactly as any other.
While I may be sensitive to the use of clichés, as a crutch for the mind, I’m also sensitive to the habit some have of disregarding the science of language to believe just anything. Now, will someone please call Fox News Chicago and ask them if they have a dictionary?