karen_w_newton (karen_w_newton) wrote,

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No canned fruit for you!

Some days I feel like a grammar Nazi.

I have Google as my home page for my home PC, and one of my iGoogle tabs displays topics that relate to science fiction. This headline grabbed my eye:

"Lizard Hunting Styles Impact Ability To Walk, Run"

First let me state that I was taught that "impact" should be a verb only if you're talking about wisdom teeth. I realize language changes over time, and the jargon-speak in modern offices makes pretty much any word into a verb (anyone care to transition with me?). But still, it grates on my ear when I hear "impact" used in place of "affect."

Second, my first thought was that this referred to some arcane study that looked at human ability to hunt lizards. Only when I clicked through to the article in Science Daily did I discover it was about a study that assessed various species of lizards and their styles in hunting food. I suspect this is a case of a copy editor fitting the space available, but still it struck me as an imprecise headline for an article about science. It's an online publication. Does it really take that many more pixels to say:

"Hunting Styles Affect Lizards' Ability To Walk, Run"

Ah, well. It's not as annoying as going to the grocery store and seeing a sign on the end of the aisle that says "Can Fruit." How lazy/sloppy/just plain wrong can you get?

Don't even get me started on "Twelve items or less" when it should be "Twelve items or fewer"!
Tags: english, grammar

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