Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Inpact* (for Impact*)

I just found my first typo in a crossword puzzle! The Sunday paper's "premier" puzzle, no less. I'm pretty sure I did, anyway, and the effect on me has been galvanizing. (My affect is one of pure beaming. Unlike the puzzle, it's not at all "flat.") Although the answer, my friends, is not the part that blew. The mistake was in the clue, namely 53 Down, which read: "—— impact on (effects)." The answer, as I initially surmised, and as it later turned out, was HASAN (has an impact on). But since the phrase is a verb, the parenthetical must be one as well. So if affect (v.) means to change or influence something and effect (v.) means to bring about, accomplish, or cause a thing to happen, then it should follow that the former word is the one that was intended. Amirite? Am I as effective a puzzle-proofer as I think I am? Am I simply trying to effect change? Or am I, simply, both trying and affected? I thought about making our typo today Affect* + Effect* (for effect* or affect*), but it seems that there are over 11,000 of these in OhioLINK, many if not most of them false positives. (Take a look, in any case, for examples of how to use these words correctly, even within a single phrase.) And if you're feeling as confident about all this as I am, you might want to try taking Oxford Dictionary's online quiz and see just how effective and affected you can be! There were 18 instances of Inpact* (for impact*) in OhioLINK, and 522 in WorldCat.

(Details from crossword puzzle in the Albany Times Union, April 17, 2016.)

Carol Reid

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