impact (n): the moment when one thing strikes another thing; a strong effect or influence*
impact (v): to press or pack together; to have an effect upon
Impact is a useful word. It can be used to describe how something has affected you, or the moment two monstrous football players collided with a cringe-inducing crunch. But my ears wither and I cry inside when, instead of saying “had an impact on me,” someone (unaware of the pain he/she causes) says “impacted me.” Or, perhaps worse, “impactful.”
I’ll be honest – when someone says he/she is impacted, I immediately think of constipation and impacted bowels. Oh, you were impacted by that movie. How sad – would a laxative help?
Is that really the impression you want to send?
impacted (adj): wedged or packed together
At least impacted is a word. ‘Impactful,’ no matter how convenient and useful it may seem, is not a word. That book is impactful? How about, that book makes a big impact on the way you see (insert: the world, politics, sex, etc. here).
Hopefully, this post will impact how you choose your words in the future.
*Definitions from the American English Dictionary