This post should have an impact on you

There is a disturbing (at least to me) linguistic trend growing among both people chatting on the street and respectable news outlets: that of ‘impact.’ Namely, the incorrect use of impact.

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


Leave a comment

Filed under Talking points

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s